Colombia's Yerry Mina thumped home a second-half header to secure a dramatic 1-0 victory over Senegal on Thursday, putting the South Americans into the World Cup last 16 against England.
England made their way into the knockout stages despite going down 1-0 to Belgium, while Japan became the first team ever to progress thanks to FIFA's new disciplinary tiebreaker rule despite losing to Poland.
Japan made it through Group H in second place thanks to their players having been shown four yellow cards, two fewer than Senegal, with whom they shared the same number of points.
As a result, the Africans have been dumped out of the tournament after being shown six yellow cards to Japan's four.
Africa is now without a representative in the World Cup knockout stages for the first time in 36 years.
"Senegal doesn't qualify because we don't deserve it. This is one of the rules," their coach Aliou Cisse said.
"We have to respect it. We would prefer to be eliminated another way ... we were fully committed and maybe because we were fully committed we got more yellow cards."
Elsewhere, both England and Belgium rested many of their best players in Belgium's win in Kaliningrad, with both teams already having qualified.
Belgium created the better openings in a poor first half until former Manchester United midfielder Adnan Januzaj broke the deadlock with a superb curling effort in the 51st minute.
England pushed on looking for an equaliser but without the rested Harry Kane they lacked a cutting edge.
Over in Volgograd, Japan went down to the Poles 1-0 but it was mixed feelings for coach Akira Nishino after the team still qualified for the last 16.
He had ordered his players to take no risks against Poland, an approach that slowed the game and earned resounding boos from the crowd.
"I decided that I was going to rely on the other match's result. We were not happy about the situation of course. It was not intentional ... however, it was a very tough and risky situation," Nishino said.
And in a battle of already-eliminated World Cup minnows, second-half goals by Fakhreddine Ben Yousseff and Wahbi Khazri gave Tunisia a 2-1 victory over Panama.