If Mexico had taken care of business in its final group-stage game with Sweden, it would be facing Switzerland in the round of 16 this week, safely tucked in the softer side of the World Cup bracket alongside Russia, Denmark and Colombia.
Mexico is on to the final 16 for a seventh straight World Cup, and goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa says the team should be recognized for how it got there, not for the fact that it almost tripped on its way through the door.
Japan advanced to the knockout round at the World Cup on a tiebreaker: fewer yellow cards than Senegal.
The Japanese lost to Poland 1-0 Thursday in their final group match, but they still reached the round of 16 because Colombia beat Senegal 1-0.
Both Japan and Senegal finished the group phase with four points, had the same goal difference and the same amount of goals scored. Starting at this year's tournament, disciplinary records — known as fair play — were added by FIFA as a tiebreaker. Japan had four yellow cards in its three group matches while Senegal had six.