Colombia through to last 16 with 1-0 win, Senegal out


Colombia's Yerry Mina thumped home a second-half header to secure a dramatic 1-0 victory over Senegal on Thursday that catapulted the South Americans into the World Cup last 16 and dumped their African opponents out of tournament.

With so much at stake for every team and simultaneous matches of Japan vs. Poland and Colombia vs. Senegal set for Thursday, Group H looks set to provide a thrilling finale to the group stage of the tournament.

The Colombians eventually finished top of the Group, while Senegal's campaign comes to an end as Japan progress on the Fair Play rules, having picked up fewer yellow cards than the Teranga Lions.

James Rodriguez, arguably the star of the team and victor of the best young player award of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, was taken off in the first half with a suspected injury, so we'll have to see how he progresses before playing Belgium or England in the next round.

Senegal finished the group in third with four points same as Japan as they shared the same goal difference.

The first flashpoint came soon after when Sanchez stretched in the box to thwart Mane, referee Milorad Mazic pointing to the spot but then overturning the decision when replays revealed a fine recovery tackle.

Colombia were being pushed back against the ropes and suffered a big blow when they lost James Rodriguez, who has six goals and four assists in seven World Cup appearances, to a calf injury just after the half-hour mark.

More news: Kawhi Leonard Not Enamored With Idea Of Playing With LeBron James

Rodriguez returned to the team bench in the second half, in time to see Mina's header that gave Colombia the lead.

But the atmosphere amongst the nearly 42,000 people at Samara Arena picked up near the hour mark when Poland scored to push both teams above Japan in the table.

Jan Bednarek's 59th minute goal was all that Poland needed to overcome Japan 1-0 in one of Group H.

Senegal made three changes with Cheikhou, Lamine Gassama and Keita Balde named in Aliou Cisse's starting XI.

Mina, 6-foot-5, leapt above a pair of Senegalese defenders to head the ball hard off the ground and off Senegal goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye's hand, sending the enthusiastic Colombian fans at Samara Stadium into a frenzy.

This is the first time since 1982 that no African teams have advanced from the first round.