Japan became the first team to qualify from the World Cup group stages via fair play rankings despite a 1-0 defeat to Poland in which Akira Nishino bizarrely made six changes to an unbeaten team.
But Japan scarcely threatened as Shinji Kagawa and Takashi Inui started on the bench and they were instead dependent on results elsewhere after Jan Bednarek's fine strike won the game for Poland.
Colombia's Yerry Mina came to Nishino's rescue, though, as his goal defeated Senegal and ensured Japan progressed in second place due to their superior disciplinary record.
So close to another devastating own goal! 😳 pic.twitter.com/92HfT2Y9P8— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 28, 2018
Senegal's six yellow cards to Japan's four ultimately cost the African side, who exit Russia in disappointing circumstances.
On this showing, neither England nor Belgium – Japan's potential last-16 opponents – will fear playing Nishino's men, who will be grateful simply to make the knockout stages and may well be unrecognisable after this risky experiment.