Japan and Poland were booed from the pitch in Volgograd after a farcical end to their final Group H match which saw the Blue Samurai qualify for the last 16 despite a 1-0 defeat.
Japan went through by the slimmest of margins -- their fair play record -- after the last 10 minutes were played out like a training match as both sides settled for the result.
They will meet either Belgium or England after reaching the knockout stage for the third time in their history.
When Jan Bednarek scored his first international goal in the 60th minute for already eliminated Poland, the score between Colombia and Senegal stood at 0-0 meaning Japan were going out.
But once news filtered through of Yessy Mina's 74th minute goal for Colombia the match changed for the worse.
The strike meant Colombia would win the group and Japan were ahead of Senegal despite identical points, goal difference and goals scored, because they had received fewer yellow cards.
A cacophony of boos rang out as hardly any tackles were made in the last 10 minutes as Poland decided any sort of win would be enough and Japan decided not to risk any yellow cards
Japan coach Akira Nishino made six changes including bringing in attacking pair Shinji Okazaki and Yoshinori Muto for his World Cup debut.
And it was they who fashioned the first real opening in the 12th minute of a game played at sedate pace in 36 Celsius temperatures.
Bednarek played a blind pass across his penalty area straight to Muto who shifted it to Yuto Nagatomo motoring down the left flank.
His whipped cross was met by a diving Okazaki header which flashed wide.
Moments later Muto won possesion again outside the box and his fierce shot was parried out of harm's way by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, one of five changes in Poland's starting line-up.
The Polish captain Robert Lewandowski is renowned as a world-class goalscorer for Bayern Munich but, as in the rest of Poland's sorry World Cup campaign, he was seeing little of the ball.
Goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima kept his place for the Samurai Blue despite a howler for Senegal's first goal in the 2-2 draw and repaid Nishino's faith with a wondrous save to keep the score goalless at half-time.
Piotr Zielinski crossed from the right and Kamil Grosicki found himself unmarked near the penalty.
His cleverly directed header looked destined for the bottom corner until Kawashima made up huge amounts of ground to claw it to safety with a right hand at full stretch.
Goalline technology confirmed he had kept it out by less than half the width of the ball but that was just about all Poland had offered as they headed for the shortish plane ride back to Warsaw.
Kawashima did it again in the second half to prevent what would have been Tomoaki Nakino own goal.
Okazaki had run his heart out in the sapping conditions and gave way to Yuya Osaka in the 47th minute as Nishino introduced fresh legs.
Kawashima did have to pick the ball out of his net on the hour mark as Bednarak got on the end of a Rafal Kurzawa long free-kick to volley home at the back post.
Goal! Japan 0, Poland 1
Japan will be aiming to round off their Group H campaign in style with a victory over a Poland side who have already been eliminated from the competition. The Samurai Blue are currently top of the table and only need a point to confirm their place in the round of sixteen for only the third time in their history.
The Asian side showed plenty of heart coming from behind twice to draw with Senegal 2-2, and Akira Nishino with be hoping for the same fighting spirit to get the victory over Poland. Japan is set to face either England or Belgium in the round of sixteen.
Takeshi Inui opened the scoring for Japan against Poland with a well-taken finish. The skilful attacker has just moved to Real Betis in La Liga and will be hoping to grab a second goal in the competition. Whilst at the back, Samurai Blue captain Maya Yoshida will be primed for a big duel with Poland striker Robert Lewandowski.
Japan Predicted Team
Kawashima, Endo, Yoshida, Shoji, Nagatomo, Shibasaki, Hasebe, Honda, Kagawa, Inui, Okazaki
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TV Channel- MAX HD3
Stadium-Volgograd Arena, Volgograd
Poland will be playing for pride after their two group defeats to Senegal & 3-0 humbling by Colombia means that the European side is sent packing at the group stages.
The game against Colombia particularly will be hard for the Polish fans and players to take after they were completely outplayed by the South American side. More tellingly, they only managed two shots on target in the game, something that will have to be addressed against Japan in Volgograd.
Robert Lewandowski, in particular, has been disappointing for his country after top scoring in European qualification with sixteen goals. The Bayern Munich will get one more opportunity to score his first World Cup goal against the Japanese and will be hoping he can convert his chances.
In team news, Kamil Glik is likely to return for this final game. The Monaco defender missed out on the first two games through injury, and his presence will be needed if Poland is to salvage some pride and pick up the win.
Poland Predicted Team
Fabianski, Piszczek, Cionek, Glik, Rybus, Goralski, Linetty, Kownacki, Zielinski, Grosicki, Lewandowski
It promises to be a fascinating encounter as Japan look to book their place in the round of sixteen against Poland. Watch the Live & Exclusive stream of the game on MAX HD3 & beIN SPORTS CONNECT.