Malawi football fans disappointed with Africa’s early World Cup exit

Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois

They, however, quite bizarrely lost out to Japan on FIFA's fair play rule, having picked up more yellow cards, after ending on the same points and goals as their Asian counterparts, in Group H.

For the first time in the history of the World Cup, a team has advanced on the fair play tiebreaker, and for the first time since 1982, No African team would be in the last 16. But I can it is not a comfortable situation for us'.

Colombia topped their group by beating Poland and Senegal despite losing to Japan in their opener.

Japan had four yellow cards and Senegal six, and neither nation had a red card, so Japan plays in the round of 16.

England have been handed a boost ahead of their World Cup last sixteen tie against Colombia with the news that the South American sides star player, James Rodriguez, is struggling to be fit for the match in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow. "I'm not going to ask my players to go on the pitch and try to avoid being issued yellow cards".

After their team conceded a goal and then squandered good chances in the dying minutes, the carnival atmosphere gave way to silence and finally the kind of frustration that had been building since Senegal drew with Japan last Sunday, despite twice leading the match.

"Senegal has not qualified because we don't deserve it".

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"In any case, these are the rules of the game, and we have to respect them, but we would have preferred to be eliminated in another way".

"After the first two games against Senegal and Colombia, our team had to deal with a lot of justified criticism so it was clear the emotional level of this game would be extremely high for the Polish team", he said. "But, as things stand, we do not see any need to change it".

"Africa has its own unique style of play, which distinguishes us as a people and over the years, although we've not been able to win the World Cup since its inception, we have at least made significant progress as compared to what we are doing now", he said.

The failure is surprising as it comes at a time when African representation is growing at World Cups and when fans have waited patiently for one team from the continent to make their mark on football's biggest stage.

"Looking at other teams here, I don't think we should be ashamed of our football".

"I told (Hasebe) to tell the team to stay put", said Nishino, who added that hanging on for a 1-0 loss was "a very tough decision".

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