Japan saw off Senegal 4-3 in Group A's final match to progress to the knockout stages along with hosts Portugal, sending the African side home in the process. The Samurai Blue took a commanding four-goal lead in the opening two periods, with goals from Takasuke Goto and Teruki Tabata in the first added to by strikes from Naoya Matsuo and Takuya Akaguma in the second. Senegal gave their supporters a glimmer of hope with three late strikes, but it was not enough for Ibrahima N'Diaye's side.
The Japanese opened the scoring after just 37 seconds, with a Goto free-kick stunning the Senegalese. Tabata doubled his side's advantage late in the first period, before Matsuo and Akaguma stretched the advantage further still after the first break.
The Asian side's tactical organisation had kept the Senegalese speed and physical strength at bay up until the final three minutes, when three late goals from Gorgui Faye, Papa Modou Ndoye and Babacar Fall made the scoreline look tight and tense, but in reality Japan were never in major trouble.
As a result, Japan head through to the quarter-finals from Group A in second place behind hosts Portugal, and they will face Group B winners Italy in the quarter-finals on Thursday.