Japan vs. Poland - Football Match Report

Yuya Osako Japan 2018 World Cup

If Poland fail to win against Japan, it will be their worst ever performance at a World Cup.

Japan advanced to the round of the 16 at the 2018 World Cup, despite losing to Poland in their final Group H clash on Thursday. Nishino's squad will also be motivated by the knowledge that the manager could call on anyone for Monday's match, however, and the fact that Japan has already exceeded expectations by reaching the knockout round could work in its favor.

"I chose to keep the status quo in our game, and rely instead on the other result".

It was not pretty, but Japan did what was necessary to survive at the World Cup. However, both players and coach alike are united in their conviction not to set out for a draw.

A draw against Poland will guarantee the Samurai Blue qualification from the group stage, while depending on other results, even defeat at the Volgograd Arena could grant the Japanese a spot in the Round of 16.

Nishino then introduced Inui, but Japan barely fought back and were only reprieved after Colombia scored in Samara.

When it came down to the fair play tiebreaker, Senegal had accrued two more yellow cards in the group stage than its Asian counterpart.

From a deep position, Rafal Kurzawa curled a free kick towards the back post and Bednarek was waiting to volley the ball inside the near post from six yards out for his first global goal.

"It was for us more important for us to get into the next round than to win the match, " Japan midfielder Gotoku Sakai said. Their best chance came with 32 minutes played, after a bullet header from Grosicky was just scraped out by Kawashima, with the ball just millimetres from crossing the line.

Poland squandered a big chance to double their lead on 74 minutes when Grosicki picked out Robert Lewandowski, who fired over the crossbar from close range.

That put both of Thursday's matches on a knife-edge as the clock ticked toward fulltime, and Japan manager Akira Nishino reacted to his team's precarious advantage by instructing his players not to attack for the final 10 minutes.

Poland, for the third straight World Cup that it has competed in, lost its first two group matches and then won its third. Yep, Senegal have been eliminated because they picked up more yellow cards that the Japanese.

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