It was a cruel twist of fate that denied Senegal a spot in the last-16 of the World Cup, with Japan progressing from Group G at their expense having received two fewer yellow cards. The Samurai Blue secured their spot in the second round along with Colombia, who topped the group following their 1-0 win over Senegal on Thursday.
Looking at the top five best-rated players, of those to start at least once, and it’s group winners Colombia who dominate the quintet, with a Barcelona star top of the pile
5. Gen Shoji (Japan) - 7.21 Rating
Akira Nishino made a number of changes for Japan’s 1-0 loss to Poland, with defender Gen Shoji among those dropping to the bench. The defender impressed in meetings with Colombia and Senegal, so much so that he returned a WhoScored.com rating of 7.21 in his two starts. The 25-year-old returned a pass success rate of 90.6% and won 12 of 18 aerial duels contested in his two outings. Returns of seven tackles and interceptions combined and nine clearances ensured Shoji played a key role in Japan’s progression to the next round of the World Cup.
4. David Ospina (Colombia) - 7.30 Rating
David Ospina will be hoping his solid World Cup showings will work wonders in either impressing new Arsenal boss Unai Emery or his quest to find a new club. The Colombia number one kept two clean sheets in his three outings and made nine saves across those three appearances. A trio of solid displays helped return a WhoScored.com rating of 7.30.
3. M’Baye Niang (Senegal) - 7.34 Rating
It just wasn’t to be for Senegal, who despite their best efforts, crashed out at the group stages. M’Baye Niang was key to that having had a direct hand in two of their four goals scored, scoring one and assisting another, while a man of the match display against Poland set them on their way. An additional six key passes helped return a WhoScored.com rating of 7.34.
2. Juan Quintero (Colombia) - 7.40 Rating
The second of three Colombia players to make the cut, Jose Pekerman’s side scored five goals on their way to topping Group H, with Juan Quintero having a direct hand in three of those. The pint-sized playmaker netted a clever free-kick in the 2-1 loss to Japan and turned provider for Falcao and Yerry Mina to score against Poland and Senegal, respectively. An additional five key passes helped Quintero earn a WhoScored.com rating of 7.40 as he stepped up impressively to mask James Rodriguez's fitness concerns.
1. Yerry Mina (Colombia) - 8.41 Rating
The top rated player in Group H, and by some distance, is Colombia and Barcelona centre-back Yerry Mina. The 23-year-old defender scored in wins over Poland and Senegal and won an impressive nine of 14 headed battles to reinforce a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘Aerial Duels’. A pass success rate of 88% across his two outings was also a fine return for Mina, who also made five tackles and interceptions combined. After coming into the side, Colombia looked a far sturdier outfit with Mina returning a WhoScored.com rating of 8.41 for his efforts.