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World Cup 2018: 3 reasons why Colombia beat Senegal 1-0

Sachin Bhat
Top 5 / Top 10
402   //    28 Jun 2018, 23:24 IST

Colombia are through to the last 16!
Colombia are through to the last 16!

Colombia just about progressed to the last 16 of the World Cup through a late header from Yerry Mina yet again as it clinched a 1-0 win over Senegal, who're sent packing on virtue of an inferior fair play record to Japan.

After a cagey first-half that also saw James Rodriguez trudge off the pitch with an apparent injury early on, Los Cafeteros came back stronger after the interval and a breakthrough was always on the cards.

And once again, it came from an unlikely source as the Barcelona centre-back followed up his strike against Poland in the last outing with another header, diving to latch on to Quintero's corner kick.

Senegal tried to stage a late comeback, but Colombia held firm and advanced to the knockouts as Group H winners, and will now face either of Belgium or England.

Here's how they won today.

#1 Much improved second half performance by Colombia

Colombia improved vastly after the break
Colombia improved vastly after the break

Just like Germany yesterday, Los Cafeteros in need of a win started the match excruciatingly slow and lacked the urgency with which they should've come into this fixture.

In fact, they spent the better part of the opening 45 minutes in their own half with Senegal making soft attempts at goal. The loss of James Rodriguez appeared to make matters worse. Colombia was lucky to head into the break on level terms, but returned stronger from it.

Suddenly, there was more movement upfront and Colombia upped the tempo with quick, slick passes around the box. Cuadrado who was largely anonymous in the first-half, was a player reinvigorated, getting into the pockets of space on the flanks.

Muriel, who replaced Rodriguez, may not have inspired the creative juices that the Bayern star would have, but did trouble the Senegalese back-line with his dribbles and almost found the breakthrough early on had it not been for N'Diaye's desperate clearance.

Though clear cut chances were still at a premium - Colombia had just two shots on target in the game - their high press appeared to wear the Africans down, who resorted to cheap fouls and conceded a couple of corners and free-kicks.

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Sachin Bhat
Football aficionado. Writing enthusiast. Aspiring journalist.
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