Senegal, Japan play out exciting draw

25 June, 2018, 04:16 | Author: Austin Daniel
  • Japanese players celebrating against Colombia

With a 2-1 opening win and now a 2-2 draw, Japan and Senegal now jointly lead Group H with identical records but that could change hours later pending the outcome of the Colombia-Poland match.

"A player like Sadio Mane is a player with a lot of expectations and he is one of the players under the spotlight".

Japan managed to equalise in the 34 minute when Takashi Inui pounced on a loose ball inside the box after some slack defending, and he duly fired into the bottom corner from 14 yards out, 1-1.

"Despite the fact we were leading twice, what is annoying for me is the two goals we conceded".

Japan coach Akira Nishino said he thought his defenders did a "pretty good job" on Mane. "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.

They did the same after Japan's victory over Colombia and Senegal's win over Poland on Tuesday.

"What we were more concerned about was him giving a positive impact to other players, especially in the first half when we let him and other players play too freely". The Lions of Teranga made a dream start to only their second World Cup campaign, and are now dreaming of getting out of the group stage and a victory against Japan gives their qualification hopes a major boost. "We didn't play a great game, but we didn't lose".

Marin Cilic and Novak Djokovic set for Queen's final after semifinal wins
The Serb returned superbly to force a match point but the Croatian fended it off with some big-serving. He then served it out to love to claim his second title at Queen's.

"Of course he's going to be marked more closely, so we will have to support him in the next match if we're to get the win", Yoshida said.

"Honestly we are all disappointed, there was a way to win and we did not do it", said Mane, who was only a sporadic danger down Senegal's left.

Up next for Japan is a meeting with Poland in Volgograd, where Nishino expects his players to be confident.

"We have a decisive game coming up", Mane said.

Japan's Keisuke Honda, left, celebrates with teammate Shinji Okazaki after scoring his side's second 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.

The World Cup match between Japan and Senegal will be broadcast live on FOX. 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.

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