The Samurai Blue progressed on the basis of fair play despite losing 1-0 to Poland in their last group match. 

Poland went in front thanks to a clean volley from Jan Bednarek while the match between Colombia and Senegal was still goalless, meaning Japan would have gone out on goal difference. 

A Colombia goal brought Japan back into second spot, though, despite losing to Poland. Japan and Senegal had the exact same goal difference, but Japan had a better disciplinary record.


Eiji Kawashima - 6.5

Tested after 25 minutes for the first time, getting down to his left to stop a header from Kamil Grosicki.

Hiroki Sakai - 6.5

Started off awkwardly with some of his defending against Layvin Kurzawa but he gradually improved as the match wore on. Always had the Polish on their heels with the ball on the right flank. 

Mayo Yoshida - 6.5

Confident defending against a pacy front line of culprits like Grosicki. Going forward, some passes in behind the Polish lines threatened in the first half. 

Tomoaki Makino - 5.5

A bit of a hot head at the back. Some Japanese fans may have been worried to see his name in the team sheet. Not great defending at the set-piece for Bednarek's goal. 

Yuto Nagatomo - 5.5

A strong delivery to Okazaki in the 12th minute could have seen Japan open the scoring. Had a fair bit to worry about as a red-hot Grosicki had fire in his eyes looking to send Poland ahead for the first time this World Cup. 

Gaku Shibasaki - 6

Carelessly lost the ball in a no pressure situation which allowed Poland to break forward and come close to opening the scoring.