Japan target win over Poland to take top spot in Group H

Players warm up during a training session of Japan national team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Kazan, Russia, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Euge

Players warm up during a training session of Japan national team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Kazan, Russia, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Euge

Players warm up as Japan's head coach Akira Nishino, center, watches during a training session of Japan national team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in

Players warm up as Japan's head coach Akira Nishino, center, watches during a training session of Japan national team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in

Japan's head coach Akira Nishino stands during a training session of Japan national team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Kazan, Russia, Tuesday, June

Japan's head coach Akira Nishino stands during a training session of Japan national team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Kazan, Russia, Tuesday, June

Players listens Japan's head coach Akira Nishino during a training session of Japan national team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Kazan, Russia, Tuesd

Players listens Japan's head coach Akira Nishino during a training session of Japan national team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Kazan, Russia, Tuesd

Japan's Keisuke Honda warms up during a training session of Japan national team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Kazan, Russia, Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

Japan's Keisuke Honda warms up during a training session of Japan national team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Kazan, Russia, Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

VOLGOGRAD, Russia (AP) — Akira Nishino knows there are a few ways for his Japan squad to qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup for the third time in five tournaments.

He only cares about one. With a victory over No. 8-ranked Poland at Volgograd, Japan has a shot at finishing atop Group H.

Nishino says, "We are still going for top of the group."

After a 2-2 draw last Sunday, Japan and Senegal share the lead with four points and the same number of goals scored and conceded.

Japan can advance with a win or a draw, and perhaps even a loss. Nishino's squad, which was the lowest-ranked and considered the longest shot to advance from the group, was emboldened by its opening 2-1 win over Colombia and now is aiming to advance with a bigger win over winless Poland, which is already out of contention.

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