Speaking after the victory, via America TV, the Argentine manager said: “I do not think that in football there is only one answer to the question of why one team beat another, we work very well with the dead ball, and we have good players with good heads.
“We had that balance, although at times we experienced very disturbing moments, especially in the first half, Senegal made a great performance and we struggled to sustain the idea we had, they copied a lot of what they saw in Colombia’s game against Poland. It was very positive to have taken on the four attackers of Senegal at difficult times and emerge successful.
“With all the dominance they could have, they did not reach clear positions to cause us problems on many occasions. Senegal had a very good World Cup, but can not stay in. With that we see how even the groups are, and the difficulties that the teams have, everything is very balanced, the pressure is very influential, and our team handled it well.”
In a closely fought contest, Yerry Mina’s header from a corner was enough to give Colombia the win they needed, and Japan’s 1-0 loss to Poland meant that Senegal were eliminated from the tournament based on their fair play ranking. As they were level with Japan across a number of different factors, it was Senegal’s higher number of yellow cards that sealed their early exit.
Colombia meanwhile face an anxious wait to find out whether their talismanic forward James Rodríguez will return from injury in time to face England next Tuesday. The Bayern Munich ace limped off the field after just thirty minutes in the game against Senegal, and fans of the South American nation are concerned that he may have suffered a reoccurrence of a calf injury.