MATCH CENTRE

THU 28 JUNE 2018, 16:00, VOLGOGRAD ARENA

0
VS
1

Japan lose to Poland, still advance

by Graeme Jackson

Thu June 28, 18:00

Poland wrapped up their 2018 World Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over Japan in a Group H clash at the Volgograd Arena on Thursday afternoon.

The result saw the ‘Samurai Blue’ advance to the last 16 on the narrowest margin: they finished with exactly the same record as Senegal – who lost 1-0 to group winners Colombia – but qualified at the expense of the African team on fair play points.

As a result, all five CAF representatives have been knocked out and Africa has no teams in the second round of a World Cup for the first time since 1982.

Japan asserted themselves early on in the match and had two good opportunities to claim the lead inside the opening quarter hour. The first arrived on 12 minutes when Shinji Okazaki got ahead of his marker to meet a left-flank cross, but he sent his header wide of the near post.

Just a minute later Yoshinori Muto picked up a pass on the edge of the box and got away a fine right-footed effort which forced Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to make a sharp save low to his right.

Poland offered relatively little threat through the first half, though they almost took the lead just after the half-hour mark: Kamil Grosicki’s header looked destined for the back of the net, but Eiji Kawashima clawed the ball away in a superb save.

The European side claimed the lead on the hour mark, with defender Jan Bednarek arriving late at the far post to meet Rafal Kurzawa’s free kick and drive home a shot from close range.

Fourteen minutes later the ‘White Eagles’ should have doubled their advantage, with Kamil Grosicki’s low cross picking out Robert Lewandowski, but the striker put his effort over the target.

With news of Senegal trailing 1-0 against Colombia coming through, Japan were caught in the nervous position of trying to find an equaliser (to take their fare completely in their own hands) while trying to avoid the further concession of a goal (which would see the African side moved ahead of them on the log).

In the end, the ‘Samurai Blue’ settled for the 1-0 loss and waited for the final score from Samara – when it was confirmed that Colombia had beaten the ‘Teranga Lions’ 1-0, Japan knew they had advanced on no more than a technicality.

Japan 0
Poland (0) 1 (Bednarek 60’)

Japan: Kawashima, H. Sakai, Yoshida, Makino, Nagamoto, Yamaguchi, Shibasaki, G. Sakai, Okazaki (Osako 47’), Usami (Inui 65’), Muto (Hasebe 82’)

Poland: Fabianski, Bereszynski, Glik, Bednarek, Kurzawa (Peszko 80’), Krychowiak, Goralski, Jedrzejczyk, Zielinski (Teodorczyk 79’), Lewandwoski, Grosicki

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE VOLGOGRAD ARENA
JAPAN GOALS POLAND GOALS
5. Jan Bednarek (60')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
1
JAPAN STARTING LINEUP POLAND STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
1
Defender
21
Goalkeeper
22
Defender
19
3
Defender
22
Defender
60'
5
Defender
66'
20
Defender
15
Defender
5
Midfielder
10
Midfielder
7
Midfielder
6
Midfielder
16
Midfielder
11
Midfielder
65'
11
Midfielder
79'
19
Forward/Striker
47'
9
Midfielder
80'
21
Forward/Striker
82'
13
Forward/Striker
9
SUBSTITUTIONS
Yuya Osako
Forward/Striker
47'
15
Lukasz Teodorczyk
Forward/Striker
79'
14
Takashi Inui
Midfielder
65'
14
Slawomir Peszko
Midfielder
80'
17
Makoto Hasebe
Midfielder
82'
17
CARDS
Tomoaki Makino
Defender
66'
20
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
GALLERY
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