2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

14 June - 15 July

Russia 2018

Group leaders Japan and Senegal share spoils

  • A high-intensity Japan twice came from behind to earn draw
  • Senegal opened scoring through Sadio Mane and lead with 12 minutes remaining
  • RELIVE: As it happened, stats, more - Highlights

Japan twice came from behind to peg back Senegal as the two Group H leaders played out a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Ekaterinburg Arena. The result keeps the pair at the group summit after each had won their respective opening outings.

Senegal started with real attacking intent and they were rewarded as star forward Sadio Mane took full advantage of some defensive hesitancy to score after 11 minutes. Despite enjoying more possession, Japan remained on the back foot until Takashi Inui netted just past the half-hour, with a smart curling finish from inside the penalty area.

Yuya Osako missed a golden opportunity on the hour mark, and Inui hit the crossbar minutes later as Japan’s attacking outlets found space. Senegal made Japan pay for their profligacy as 19-year-old Moussa Wague lashed home on 71 minutes, but substitute Keisuke Honda equalised seven minutes later, finishing off Inui's cut-back pass from close range.

Team reporter analysis
Hidetoshi Suzuki with Japan [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]
This draw was earned on the back of some veterans such as second goal-getter Keisuke Honda, and skipper Makoto Hasebe who controlled at the back confidently. Takashi Inui’s fantastic attacking performance was also a highlight. Without his first goal and assist for Honda this could have been a very different game.

Cynthia Nzetia with Senegal [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]
Once again the lack of concentration was one of the negative aspects from this game for Senegal. They created several beautiful attacking sequences but there was some porous defending on the other side. Senegal will be looking to remain focussed throughout the full 90 minutes of their concluding group match. Another negative was the injury to key man Mbaye Niang.

Budweiser Man of the Match
Senegal superstar forward Sadio Mane was named Budweiser Man of the Match for his opening goal and constant attacking threat.

The stat
3 - Keisuke Honda became the first Japanese player to score at three FIFA World Cups™ . The substitute netted the equaliser with 12 minutes remaining for his fourth goal in the past three editions.

What’s next
Senegal v Colombia – Group H, 28 June, Samara
Japan v Poland – Group H, 28 June, Volgograd

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