Senegal were sent crashing out of the 2018 World Cup in heart-breaking fashion after they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Colombia at the Samara Arena on Thursday.
- Senegal 0 Colombia 1
- Mane sees penalty overturned by VAR
- Rodriguez goes off injured
- Mina (74′) scores with towering header
- Ospina saves from Niang
The Lions of Teranga enjoyed the better of the play in the first half and were awarded a penalty when Sadio Mane was brought down in the box, but the decision was changed by VAR.
In the second period, Yerry Mina headed the winning goal for Jose Pekerman’s side as the West Africans went out of the tournament having picked up more yellow cards than Japan.
The opening 15 minutes had very little drama in terms of goal-mouth action with Senegal largely on the front foot and keeping a conservative Colombia pressed backwards into their own half.
In the 17th minute the first meaningful moment occurred as Mane went down in the box under a lunging last-ditch tackle by Davinson Sanchez.
With the Liverpool ace taking a first touch to get the ball out of his feet and having just David Ospina to beat in goal, Sanchez was blown up for bringing him down in the area.
Referee Milorad Mazic reviewed his decision with VAR and decided that the challenge was a good one as the Tottenham defender got his heel to the ball in what was an excellent goal-saving tackle.
In an otherwise uneventful opening half-hour, Los Cafeteros suffered a setback as star midfielder James Rodriguez was substituted after appearing to pick up an injury in a tackle near the centre of the park.
Suggestions were that James was carrying an injury and he left the field in much frustration to be replaced by Luis Muriel.
Both teams were creating very little and the next meaningful action took place in the 38th minute. Following a driving run from Mane, Carlos Sanchez Moreno brought down the key man for the Lions of Teranga 30 yards from goal.
M’Baye Niang then laid off the resulting free-kick to Moreno, who blasted over the crossbar. The Colombians were offering little threat apart from occasional crosses, as Radamel Falcao was starved of decent service.
After the interval, the South Americans came out with a greater sense of adventure in attack with the Senegalese now absorbing the majority of the pressure.
Los Cafeteros were enjoying close to 60% of the possession in the second stanza, but nothing was really happening in terms of chances being created.
A big roar took place around the hour mark as news filtered through that Poland had taken the lead against Japan. It meant that if both scorelines in Group H remained the same, Colombia would advance to the last 16.
Action continued to remain away from the final third, though suddenly from out of nowhere in the blink of an eye, the Colombians hit the front in the 74th minute.
Mina rose majestically from Juan Fernando Quintero’s corner to send a dominating header beyond the helpless Khadim N’Diaye in goal.
A quick response from Aliou Cisse’s men took place as moments later Ospina palmed away Niang’s well-hit shot, before the resulting corner was gobbled up by Ospina with Senegal attackers in close attendance.
The Lions of Teranga offered little further threat in the closing minutes and crashed out of the global showpiece, with Colombia and a fortunate Japan marching into the knockout stages.
Senegal bow out with identical statistics to the Samurai Blue, however, they accrued more yellow cards than the Japanese and head home on a technicality.