World Cup - Group H
JapanJapan2SenegalSenegal2

World Cup 2018: Japan come back twice against Senegal to draw 2-2

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport

Japan and Senegal remain well placed to reach the knockout stage of the World Cup - and a last-16 date with England or Belgium - after an entertaining draw in Ekaterinburg.

Sadio Mane put Senegal ahead from close range after an awful mistake by Eiji Kawashima, the ball flying past the Japan keeper after his attempted punched clearance hit the Liverpool forward.

Japan were level before half-time through Takashi Inui's lovely curling finish, before Yuya Osako hit the crossbar.

Nineteen-year-old defender Moussa Wague thought he had sealed Senegal's second straight Group H win with a fine finish from an angle but substitute Keisuke Honda salvaged a point for Japan moments after coming on.

Japan and Senegal have four points after two games, while Group H rivals Poland and Colombia are both chasing their first points of the tournament when they meet in Kazan at 19:00 BST.

Senegal frustrated by late equaliser

Despite another point, Senegal will be disappointed they could not follow up their 2-1 win over Poland last week by becoming the first African side to win two group games since Ghana in 2006.

But 16 years on from their debut World Cup, the Teranga Lions continue to win new fans in Russia.

While Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia are already making plans to return home after failing to secure a point, Senegal can still ensure Africa has at least one representative in the last 16.

However, Aliou Cisse will be frustrated his players failed to build on Mane's opener after Kawashima's howler.

Senegal were well in control but failed to build on their strong start and Inui's smart finish, after Yuto Nagatomo created the chance, saw Japan draw level with their first shot on target.

Even after Wague restored Senegal's advantage with a sweeping finish, they were unable to see the game out - keeper Khadim N'Diaye's failed clearance leading to Honda's equaliser.

In 2002, the likes of Henri Camara and El Hadji Diouf helped Senegal reach the quarter-finals under Bruno Metsu. If Senegal's class of 2018 hope to emulate that achievement they will have to cut out the mistakes.

Group H

Hard-working Japan rewarded with a point

Japan were one of the first teams to book their place in Russia, qualifying last August.

Having gone out early in Brazil four years ago with one point, they now have four at this tournament and could be set for an extended stay.

They started slowly and Kawashima's blunder threatened to prove costly.

However, Japan regained their composure and took control before the interval before wasting a glorious chance to take the lead for the first time with the game 1-1, Osako failing to connect right in front of Senegal's net.

Japan were gifted their equaliser by Senegal's keeper, with Honda now the top-scoring Asian player in World Cup history, netting four goals in nine appearances in the competition.

However, they deserved that moment of fortune after a hard-working performance.

Man of the match - Sadio Mane (Senegal)

Sadio Mane celebrates scoring for Senegal against Japan at the World Cup
There was a touch of fortune about Sadio Mane's goal but he went on to provide some of Senegal's best moments as they secured what could be a crucial point.

'We were not very good frankly' - what they said

Senegal boss Aliou Cisse: "Of course we have regrets. We must acknowledge that we didn't see a great Senegalese performance in comparison to the match against Poland.

"We were not very good frankly, and Japan were the better team, I have to admit that. But despite that fact, we led twice and what's annoying for me is the two goals we conceded.

"Japan played as expected; they are a very technical team with such good quality in that respect. We pressured them well at the start and they made some errors, which we exploited.

"But as soon as we gave them some space, it became difficult for us. Now we have to hope for the best when we face Colombia."

Japan boss Akira Nishino: "We knew Senegal were not a team we could win easily against but the team were calm after conceding goals and it was positive that we were able to equalise twice.

"We constructed attacks well and played in our own rhythm. The substitutions also worked well and I think I did very well with the timing of those.

"The players were very confident and positive, and I myself thought we could have gone for the victory.

"But Senegal are a very strong team and I hope that this result will lead to more success in our next match."

Why Honda loves the World Cup - the stats

  • Keisuke Honda scored in his third different World Cup finals tournament for Japan (2010, 2014, 2018) - he is the first Japanese player to do this.
  • Honda's goal was his 37th for Japan, tying him level with Hiromi Hara as the fourth highest goalscorer for the national team.
  • Senegal have not lost any of the 15 international matches that Sadio Mane has scored in for them (W9 D6 L0).
  • Senegal's 19-year-old Moussa Wague became only the second teenager to score at the 2018 World Cup, after France's Kylian Mbappe.

What's next?

Both teams are back in action on Thursday at 15:00 BST for their final group games with Japan facing Poland in Volgograd and Senegal taking on Colombia in Samara.

Line-ups

Japan

  • 1Kawashima
  • 19H Sakai
  • 22Yoshida
  • 3Shoji
  • 5Nagatomo
  • 17HasebeBooked at 90mins
  • 7Shibasaki
  • 8HaraguchiSubstituted forOkazakiat 75'minutes
  • 10KagawaSubstituted forHondaat 72'minutes
  • 14InuiBooked at 68minsSubstituted forUsamiat 87'minutes
  • 15Osako

Substitutes

  • 2Ueda
  • 4Honda
  • 6Endo
  • 9Okazaki
  • 11Usami
  • 12Higashiguchi
  • 13Muto
  • 16Yamaguchi
  • 18Oshima
  • 20Makino
  • 21G Sakai
  • 23Nakamura

Senegal

  • 16K N'Diaye
  • 22Wagué
  • 6Sané
  • 3Koulibaly
  • 12SabalyBooked at 90mins
  • 13A N'DiayeSubstituted forKouyatéat 65'minutes
  • 18Sarr
  • 17B NdiayeSubstituted forN'Doyeat 81'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 5Gueye
  • 10Mané
  • 19NiangBooked at 59minsSubstituted forDioufat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Diallo
  • 2Mbengue
  • 4Kara
  • 7Sow
  • 8Kouyaté
  • 9Diouf
  • 11N'Doye
  • 14Konaté
  • 15Sakho
  • 20Keita
  • 21Gassama
  • 23Gomis
Referee:
Gianluca Rocchi
Attendance:
32,572

Match Stats

Home TeamJapanAway TeamSenegal
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home7
Away15
Shots on Target
Home3
Away7
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Japan 2, Senegal 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Japan 2, Senegal 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mame Biram Diouf (Senegal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a set piece situation.

  4. Booking

    Makoto Hasebe (Japan) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Makoto Hasebe (Japan).

  6. Post update

    Sadio Mané (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Yuya Osako (Japan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal).

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Salif Sané (Senegal) header from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sadio Mané.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Takashi Usami (Japan).

  11. Post update

    Ismaila Sarr (Senegal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  12. Booking

    Cheikh N'Doye (Senegal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Maya Yoshida (Japan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Cheikh N'Doye (Senegal).

  15. Booking

    Youssouf Sabaly (Senegal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  16. Post update

    Takashi Usami (Japan) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Youssouf Sabaly (Senegal).

  18. Post update

    Keisuke Honda (Japan) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Youssouf Sabaly (Senegal).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Japan. Takashi Usami replaces Takashi Inui.

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