Despite their opening game struggles, Colombia managed Group H just fine to emerge as winners.
Colombia topped Senegal, 1-0, on Thursday to win the group and advance to the knockout stage despite an opening match loss to Japan. With the result, Colombia will face either England or Belgium in the next round while Senegal is eliminated, finishing behind Japan on fair play following a tie on points, goal differential and goals scored.
After 74 scoreless minutes, Colombia finally broke through on a goal from Yerry Mina, who skied about the Senegal defense on a corner kick. The defender headed the ball straight into the ground, bouncing a shot into the roof of the net to give Colombia the lead.
The first half saw Senegal dictate a majority of the play despite remaining cautiously disciplined in their attacking pushes. Colombia, meanwhile, was rocked by injuries as James Rodriguez was knocked out of the match early with a thigh issue.
VAR did come into play in the first half, though, as Sadio Mane was tackled by Davinson Sanchez in the box. Originally seen as a penalty, VAR deemed the tackle clean, leaving the first half scoreless.
Colombia will face England or Belgium on July 3.
MAN OF THE MATCH
He wasn’t always perfect in defense, but Yerry Mina scored the goal when needed to lift Colombia to victory.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Mina’s goal was the moment that lifted Colombia to the knockout stages while eliminating Senegal.
MATCH TO FORGET
Sadio Mane was held relatively quiet on the day as Senegal lacked the final piece of the puzzle to score the goal needed.