Colombia’s 1-0 win over Japan ensured they won Group H whilst Japan progressed despite losing 1-0 to Poland due to Fair Play points.
Yerry Mina’s second-half header means Colombia top the group and Africa’s final representative at the World Cup go out because of the fair play rule.
Kasey Keller and Ross Dyer share their thoughts on Colombia’s 1-0 win which saw Senegal leave the World Cup on Fair Play points.
Colombia held out hope that James Rodriguez would be fit to take on England on Tuesday after MRI scan results released on Saturday showed minor swelling but no serious injury to his right soleus calf muscle.
James, who left Thursday’s 1-0 win over Senegal after 30 minutes with muscle pain in his left calf, did not participate in training sessions on Friday or Saturday.
The Colombia federation issued a very brief official statement about the Bayern Munich player’s status on Saturday, saying that “An MRI was done on James Rodriguez, which showed the result of minor swelling with no muscle tear on his right soleus.”
The federation did not say whether he would be fit to play on Tuesday.
The scan was carried out to determine the seriousness of the injury to an area of the calf that has bothered James for several months and caused him to miss their opening game of the tournament.
At his postmatch news conference on Thursday, Colombia manager Jose Pekerman said he was “very worried” about his star midfielder.
After being substituted for Luis Fernando Muriel, James was seen punching the turf in frustration before looking upset as he went straight to the dressing room.
“The situation is tough for the team — it is not an easy situation,” Pekerman said after the game. “He trained normally up until yesterday and even yesterday he stayed after practice, as he always does, taking extra shots, free kicks, penalties.
“He has been in optimum conditions for all the recent training sessions and at the last, we had no indication he was in any pain. Now, sincerely, I honestly don’t know how he is.”
The 26-year-old won the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup, and his latest setback came four years ago to the day since his wonder strike against Uruguay earned him the Puskas award for best goal of that year.
Colombia will miss James’ creativity and ability on the ball if he does not play after they laboured to break down Senegal before Yerry Mina’s 74th-minute header sealed the win.
Information from ESPN reporter Damian Didonato and Reuters was used in this report.