Senegal exits Russia 2018….on FIFA technicality

Mazino Dickson

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The Senegalese Lions of Teranga have been eliminated from the 2018 FIFA World Cup holding in Russia.

In a very physical encounter, the toothless Senegalese fell 0-1 to Colombia, who now finish as winners of Group G.

Defender Yerry Mina leaped high and above the taller Senegalese defenders to nod down a corner kick which completely beat keeper Ndiaye in the 74th minute.

Despite throwing on former West Ham United striker Diafra Sakho in the dying minutes, Senegal never looked like scoring as they never really threatened the Colombian defence.

Japan also lost 1-0 in its last match to Poland, but sneaked through to the next round as runners-up.

How were Senegal eliminated?

Senegal ended the match on four points with four goals scored and conceded.

Japan finished with the same points and goals haul, but qualified based on fair play rules.

In other words, Japan had fewer yellow cards than Senegal, and so grabbed the second spot from the West Africans.

The consequence?

It means for the first time since 1982, no African team will be present in the knock-out stage of the World Cup.

By every means, it implies football on the continent has regressed.