Japan's surprise loss to already eliminated Poland proved irrelevant as Colombia knocked Senegal out with a 1-0 victory in Samara.
Colombia topped Group H thanks to Yerry Mina's header in a 1-0 win over Senegal that sent the African side out of the World Cup by virtue of their fair play record - the first nation to exit the tournament by the method.
Both teams were on track to move into the knockout stages with 16 minutes remaining in Thursday's clash at the Samara Arena, due to Japan trailing 1-0 to Poland in Volgograd.
But Mina - also on target in Colombia's win over Poland last time out - proved the matchwinner for his side with a superb late header that was celebrated in style with a choreographed team dance.
Japan qualify in second place from Group H despite losing to already eliminated Poland. Senegal exit having received six yellow cards to Japan's four.
Senegal had a first-half penalty ruled out following a VAR review, while Colombia's key man James Rodriguez was substituted before the break and could be a doubt for the knockout rounds.
Group G's top two England and Belgium await Colombia and Japan in the last 16, with Senegal unfortunate to be knocked out by the slimmest of margins.
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