By Izuchukwu Okosi
There will be no African representative in the Round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup following Senegal’s 1-0 loss to Colombia in the last installments of Group H matches on Thursday.
Yerry Mina scored the Colombians’ goal in the second half.
Star player James Rodriguez was substituted off with an injury and replaced by Luis Muriel.
Niang was booked in the second half, his second of the tournament which ultimately cost the Teranga Lions as Japan made it to the second round despite a 1-0 defeat to Poland in the other group game.
Yerry Mina headed the Colombians ahead fifteen minutes before full time from a corner.
Ismailla Sarr missed a good chance to equalise in the 79th minute but skied his shot wide inside the penalty box.
Japan became the first team to qualify from the World Cup group stages via fair play rankings despite a 1-0 defeat to Poland in which Akira Nishino bizarrely made six changes to an unbeaten team.
The Samurai Blue had beaten Colombia and drawn with Senegal to enter their final Group H match, against already-eliminated Poland, requiring only a point to reach the last 16.
But Japan scarcely threatened in Volgograd as Shinji Kagawa and Takashi Inui started on the bench and they were instead dependent on results elsewhere after Jan Bednarek’s fine strike won the game for Poland.