World Cup wrap, Day 15: Colombia through as Belgium tops group
Story of the day
Three teams could still qualify from Group H by the start of the day, with Japan and Senegal in pole position to finish in the top two. Colombia knew that victory over the Senegalese would book its spot in the knockout phase, though, and Yerry Mina's header earned it the all-important three points.
Japan's 1-0 loss to Poland meant it and Senegal were tied on points, goal difference, goals scored and goals conceded. Having drawn 2-2 when they met, the duo were separated by the new fair play ruling; and with four yellow cards to Senegal's six, Japan was handed second place.
Today in 30 seconds
The last two spots in the knockout stage were confirmed as the group phase came to an end on Thursday, with just three goals shared between the eight teams in action. Colombia finished top of Group H and will face England in the round of 16, with Group G winners Belgium set to do battle with Japan.
Panama and Tunisia each knew its fate before their meeting in Saransk, which ended in a 2-1 win for the African nation. Poland was also eliminated before their game against the Japanese, while Senegal's loss moved them down from second spot to third.
Play of the day
With Roberto Martinez and Gareth Southgate both making wholesale changes to their starting XIs, there were plenty of Belgium and England understudies hoping to impress ahead of the knockout stage.
Adnan Januzaj did exactly that with a brilliant goal, cutting inside Danny Rose and bending a wonderful shot into the top corner.
Man of the moment
Yerry Mina didn't look entirely comfortable in his defensive work against Senegal, with centre-back partner Davinson Sanchez forced to bail him out on more than one occasion.
The 6ft 5in Colombian redeemed himself in the opposition's penalty area, though, rising highest to power home the header which earned his side a 1-0 victory - a scoreline good enough for Jose Pekerman's men to advance to the next round.
The weird and wacky
When a team is losing by one goal and the match is drawing to an end, it's common to see them throw bodies forward in a desperate search for an equaliser. Japan essentially did the opposite against Senegal, though, pushing players deep and circulating the ball slowly around the defense despite being 1-0 down.
The reason? The Japanese players knew that Senegal was losing 1-0 to Colombia and were therefore only concerned with avoiding yellow cards in the final few minutes. It made for a strange and unsavoury spectacle, but it's hard to blame the Samurai Blue.
A day off! And then, on Saturday, the first of the knockout ties.
10 a.m. ET France vs. Argentina, FS1
2 p.m. ET Uruguay vs. Portugal, FS1