Despite following a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Japan with a decisive 3-0 win over Poland, Colombia need to beat the on-form Africans in Samara if they are to avoid what would be seen as an embarrassing exit.
Both sides were intermittently impressive against a terrible Poland but Japan did a number on 10-man Colombia to avenge their trouncing in the group stage four years ago.
Senegal and Colombia have faced each other just once before, in a friendly in May 2014, with Colombia taking a 2-0 lead into half-time, only to concede two goals in the second half.
Group G's top two England and Belgium await Colombia and Japan in the last 16, with Senegal unfortunate to be knocked out by the slimmest of margins.
Senegal, who had most of the better players in the first half, though they had a penalty when Sadio Mane went down in the area on 17 minutes.
The South Americans had the first shot on target after Juan Quintero's free-kick earned them a corner.
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The VAR system has not been universally acclaimed at this tournament, but television replays appeared to show Sanchez get his heel on the ball, before clattering into Mane, and after reviewing his original decision, Mazic agreed.
Substitute Keisuke Honda equalised with 12 minutes left as Japan twice pegged back Senegal in a captivating stalemate at Yekaterinburg Arena that leaves Group H wide open.
Desperate late Senegal attacks failed to yield a goal that would have kept them alive and as Colombia legend Carlos Valderrama celebrated, Mane and his team-mates were stunned.
GOOOOOOOOOAL! Another #WorldCup goal for Yerry Mina!
The 2018 FIFA World Cup lives of Senegal and Colombia are on the line.
"Colombia's style of play is similar to ours, very physical, moving forward quickly".