Poland’s 1-0 consolation win over Japan meant the Asians finished level with Senegal.
Samara: A powerful header from Barcelona’s Yerry Mina fired Colombia into the Last 16 of the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Group ‘H’ rivals Senegal, who crashed out due to a poorer disciplinary record than Japan.
The South Americans, looking to reach the latter stages after reaching the quarterfinals in Brazil, risked going out of the tournament at the first hurdle.
But after seeing the video assistant referee come to their rescue in a disappointing first half, Colombia were handed a Last-16 lifeline 16 minutes from the end when Mina rose to meet a corner from the right and direct a header into the roof of Khadim Ndiaye’s net.
Poland’s 1-0 consolation win over Japan meant the Asians finished level with Senegal, who were agonisingly eliminated because they were issued six yellow cards in the competition, two more than Japan.
In Samara, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman kept faith with the attacking front line that thumped Poland 3-0, with midfielders Juan Quintero, James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado providing the support for striker Radamel Falcao up front.
But the Samara stadium erupted as Colombia finally broke the deadlock.
Cuadrado’s attempt to dribble into the area earned a corner, and Barcelona defender Mina rose highest to flash a header downwards that bounced up into the top of Ndiaye’s net on 74 minutes. Senegal rallied in the closing minutes and it took a series of great saves by Arsenal shot-stopped Ospina to keep Colombia in the tournament.