Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Japan rallies to tie Senegal at World Cup

Keisuke Honda says this will be his last World Cup. AFP Keisuke Honda says this will be his last World Cup. AFP
| 25 June, 2018, 04:23

Keisuke Honda came off the bench in the second half and scored in the 78th minute, giving the Japanese a 2-2 draw with Senegal at the World Cup.

Kawashima punched a shot he should have caught and the ball ricocheted off Mane's knee and in to give Senegal a deserved lead.

On 71 minutes, soon after hitting the Senegal bar, 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.

If he gets one against Japan, he will miss the final group game against Colombia.

"But we were more concerned about him giving positive impact on other players, especially in the first half", Nishino said. All I know is at this level of competition with the players we have today, who are world-class, these were avoidable goals.


With Japan having struggled to score throughout much of its World Cup preparation, the Samurai Blue will be hoping Osako can continue to make inroads against opposing defenses in their remaining group matches and beyond. "And that's normal because there was a way to win this match".

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse said Mane hasn't played his best game at this year's World Cup. "We didn't play a great game, but we didn't lose". "I have confidence. Our team has the quality to face Colombia", he added, looking forward to Thursday's meeting with the South Americans in Samara.

Senegal had the better of the start of the second period with the hulking Mbaye Niang wreaking havoc with a couple of shots but also by flooring any defenders who came near him, drawing blood from one.

"We're a bit disappointed... there was a way to win this match", added Mane, who failed to exert his influence despite scoring. Whilst the result was of special significance, as it was the first time that an Asian side had defeated a South American team at a FIFA World Cup. The group is still open at the moment but one thing you can not discount after witnessing the evidence in this match is Japan's strength of character.

Senegal's Sadio Mane, top right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his site's first goal during the group H match between Japan and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Yekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Sunday, June 24, 2018.

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