"It's the law of football, the law of fair play, and we had less points in that aspect and we have to accept it".
The two teams had identical records in terms of points, goal difference, goals scored, goals conceded and head-to-head results, but Japan's tally of four yellow cards saw them finish second ahead of Senegal, whose players went into the referee's notebook on six occasions.
The group stages at the 2018 FIFA World Cup have been completed with Colombia, Japan, England and Belgium the final four teams to complete the last 16. That ensured Colombia and England would meet in Moscow on Tuesday (Jul 3).
Winning a spot in the World Cup thanks to hosting the competition, many were not truly optimistic with Russia's chances in the contest.
Former England midfielder Danny Murphy, speaking on BBC One, called the tackle "the best of the tournament".
With the other teams registering points in at least one of their respective games, Poland's World Cup hopes were quickly dashed.
Despite being a goal down against Poland, Nishino's side spent the last ten minutes of the match passing the ball back and forth rather than going for the equaliser, knowing that they would progress to the next round if the scoreline of Colombia's match with Senegal did not change.
Ultimately it took the team until the second half to take advantage of their one-man advantage but once they did, they moved the South Americans all over the Saransk pitch.
Thursday provided us with the final batch of group games, in what has been the most exciting opening stage of a World Cup this century.
He played from the start against Poland and, although he also started against Senegal, he looked out of sorts, barely got involved in the game and was taken off injured after half an hour. "I'd like to play both of them because they will pose a fantastic challenge for us".
Here is how Senegal's 1-0 defeat to Colombia played out. "So I'm embarrassed by the way they were happy to just accept the loss", said Makiko Totsuka, a 30-year-old musician who watched with her friends in a bar.
Villain The closing stages of the Japan vs. Poland game saw the quite weird spectacle of a side trying to lose.
Cisse went on to add that his side were fully aware of the ruling and permutations of their style of play - and tipped them to grow stronger from their Russian Federation 2018 experience. And I remember having a conversation with him a very long time ago and him telling me that they used to count corner kicks.