Jason Pine provides all you need to know about this morning's World Cup games.

What happened overnight?

It was a decidedly peculiar end to group play, with England and Belgium initially appearing to do their best to lose to one another, while Japan became the first side in history to advance from their pool on Fair Play.

Belgium eventually beat England 1-0 to advance as Group G winners with England going into the supposedly 'weaker' half of the knockout draw, where they play Colombia in the round of 16.

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In Group H, Japan's 1-0 loss to Poland, coupled with Senegal's 1-0 defeat by Colombia saw Japan and Senegal tied on points, goal difference, goals scored and points and goals gained against one another.

That meant the sixth tie-breaker was triggered, with Japan going through to the knockout rounds by virtue of two fewer yellow cards in their three pool games.

Tunisia came from behind to beat Panama 2-1 in the game between the two eliminated sides in Group G.

Hero

Towering Colombian central defender Yerry Mina scored for the second straight match to send his side through to the knockout rounds, the first time the South American nation has done so at consecutive tournaments.

Not surprisingly, it was a header from which Mina netted (four of his five goals for Colombia have been headers), rising majestically at the near post to power home the only goal of the game before setting off in his size 16 boots to lead his team's celebrations.

Colombia's Yerry Mina, second from right, celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Senegal. Photo / AP
Colombia's Yerry Mina, second from right, celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Senegal. Photo / AP

And Belgian striker Adnan Januzaj obviously didn't get his manager's memo, producing a brilliant strike into the top corner to earn his side a third straight win, after Roberto Martinez made the inconceivable pre-game claim that winning wasn't their priority.

Villain
The closing stages of the Japan vs. Poland game saw the quite bizarre spectacle of a side trying to lose.

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Even though they were 1-0 down, Japan knew as long as they didn't concede another goal or receive two more yellow cards, they'd move through to the round of 16.

What ensued was a farcical game of anti-football, with Japan passing the ball sideways in their own half and already-eliminated Poland showing little interest in trying to increase their lead.

A goal to Senegal in the other match would have changed the picture completely, but it wasn't to be and Japan limped into the knockout rounds.

Japanese players applaud supporters after the group H match between Japan and Poland. Photo / AP
Japanese players applaud supporters after the group H match between Japan and Poland. Photo / AP

Stat chat

This is the first World Cup in which every team has scored at least twice.

England and Belgium made a combined 17 changes to their starting elevens, a record for a World Cup game.

Colombia are the only side to reach the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup after losing their opening match of the tournament. Meantime, Senegal became the third team to be eliminated despite winning their opening game, along with Iran and Serbia.

Japan have now failed to score in five of their past six World Cup games against European opposition.

Tunisia's Wahbi Khazri, left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side's second goal. Photo / AP
Tunisia's Wahbi Khazri, left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side's second goal. Photo / AP

Fakhreddine Ben Youssef's goal for Tunisia was the 2500th scored in World Cup finals history.

There have now been nine own-goals at Russia 2018, three more than any previous World Cup and Yassine Meriah's "oggie" today was also the 50th in World Cup history.

They said what?
James McOnie, 'The Crowd Goes Wild' host: "As predicted, England and Belgium both trying to throw this game. It has the feel of a round of golf with your boss during restructuring."

Aliou Cisse, Senegal coach: "I am very proud of my team today and I'm proud of their work. But Senegal have not qualified because we did not deserve to qualify. Such is life. Fair Play points are one of the rules and these rules have been established in the tournament regulations; we have to respect that."

Michael O'Neill, Northern Ireland manager and BBC pundit: "It takes you back to World Cups in 1982 and 1986, when we saw games like that. It is mind-boggling for me as a coach to leave your whole destiny in the hands of another game, and do it for so long. I had developed a bit of a soft spot for Japan, but I hope they get battered in the next round."

Did you know?
Of the five confederations represented at this World Cup, South America had the best percentage of teams advancing to the knockout stages, with 80% (four of the five) progressing.

Europe had ten of 14 go through, CONCACAF had one of three and Asia had one of five, but none of the five African teams made it out of their group.

That means for the first time since the introduction of the round of 16 in 1986, the knockout stages won't contain a single African side.

What's next?
The line-up for the round of 16 is now complete.

Here's what we have to look forward to (all NZT)โ€ฆ

Sunday: 2am France vs. Argentina, 6am Uruguay vs. Portugal
Monday: 2am Spain vs. Russia, 6am Denmark vs. Croatia
Tuesday: 2am Brazil vs. Mexico, 6am Belgium vs. Japan
Wednesday: 2am Sweden vs. Switzerland, 6am Colombia vs. England