Matchday 15 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup saw Africa’s last hope of a last 16 spot crash out of the global showpiece as Senegal lost to Colombia while Belgium topped Group G.
The final matches of Group H on Thursday, June 28 saw Poland beat Japan 1-0 and Colombia beat Senegal by the same scoreline to leave the Africans heart broken as they exited the competition in the saddest of manners.
The results saw the ‘Samurai Blue’ advance to the last 16 on the narrowest margin after finishing with exactly the same record as Senegal, but qualified at the expense of the African team on fair play points. Basically, Japan progressed because they had only received four yellow cards in their three group games compared to the six the Senegal team received.
As a result, all five CAF representatives have been knocked out and Africa has no teams in the second round of a World Cup for the first time since 1982.
Colombia finished as Group H winners and will face England in the last 16 after the Three Lions finished second in Group G following their 1-0 loss to Belgium thanks to a solo strike from Adnan Januzaj.
In some positive news for Africans, Tunisia ended their 2018 FIFA World Cup with an impressive 2-1 win over Panama thanks to goals from Fakhreddine Ben Youssef and Wahbi Khazri.
Belgium will face Japan in their last 16 match.