And the first time that the fair-play rule regarding yellow cards has been used in the World Cup.
Kalidou Koulibaly is not letting talk regarding his future affect his preparations for Senegal's crucial Group H meeting against Colombia in Samara on Thursday. But after Japan also lost to Poland, 1-0, Japan and Senegal remained deadlocked in second place in the group at four points each, meaning that advancing would come down to tiebreakers.
They kept possession at the back for the remainder of the game and wasted time, despite losing 1-0, as Senegal desperately tried to find a victor.
Why? Because the closing stages of the match were played at walking pace.
Jan Bednarek scored the lone goal for Poland as they end the tournament with three points and a consolation win over Japan.
Robert Lewandowski then had a chance to put Poland ahead 2-0 - a result that would have allowed Senegal to advance - in the 74th minute after a swift counterattack but his effort flew over the bar.
In Group G, England and Belgium, who have both won their two opening games and have exactly the same goal difference, will go head to head in their final group stage match.
Teams are given minus one point for a yellow card, minus three for a sending off for two bookings, and minus four for a straight red.
Senegal, however, has become the first victim of the new tiebreaker. "You have to be in contact with other players when you play football".
Japan fans in Volgograd cheered despite the loss after confirmation their team reached the knockout stage for the third time.