Keisuke Honda has become the highest scoring Asian player in World Cup history with his fourth goal in the competition coming in a 2-2 draw against Senegal on Sunday. Pointless Poland and Colombia meet later Sunday in Kazan with the last-16 spots determined next Thursday.
Senegal had the better of the first half, and Japan offered little until Takashi Inui's curler beat Khadim Ndiaye 34 minutes in.
Liverpool's Sadio Mané opened Senegal's account in Yekaterinburg, bundling in at the near post after a scramble in the Japanese goalmouth in the 11th minute after some inept defending from the Japanese rearguard.
But today they come up against each other with each side determined to make their last group game a mere formality by getting the three points at stake today.
On 71 minutes, Japan allowed a scuffed cross to go right across their goal and defender Moussa Wague arrived all alone at the far post to grab what looked like being an unlikely victor.
Forward Ismaila Sarr, who troubled Japan from the start with his pace and power on the right wing, was unlucky not to double Senegal's lead on 21 minutes as he volleyed into Kawashima's hands from close range.