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FIFA 2018: Japan Progresses To Knockouts, Poland Signs Off In Style

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| June 29 , 2018 , 11:24 IST

Despite a 0-1 defeat against Poland, the Samurai Blue paved their way to knockouts on the last day of the group stage matches on Thursday. Poland ended the tournament with a victory.

It is the third time the East Asians have made it past the group stage at a World Cup, having achieved the feat in back in 2002 and 2010.

In the first half, Yoshinori Muto's drive forced Lukasz Fabianski to send off, before the goalkeeper denied Gotoku Sakai effort. Goal-line technology was called into action when Poland came forward, but Eiji Kawashima brilliantly scooped Kamil Grosicki's header clear.

Both the teams struggled to score in the first half of the match thanks to some splendorous skills shown by the goalkeepers of both the sides. Finally, Bednarek broke the deadlock in the 59th minute of the game when he fired the ball into the nets following a free kick from Kurzawa.

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The score was 1-0 before the final whistle and Poland registered their first win in the tournament and against Japan.

Japan lost but celebrated as it was through to the round of 16 and will face Belgium on 2nd July in the Rostov Arena.