Japan retaliate twice to earn World Cup draw against Senegal
It was exciting between Japan and Senegal in Ekaterinburg with the two teams following up their excellent opening wins with a 2-2 draw.
Attention in Group H now turns to the next game in Kazan, between Poland and Colombia. Should that game also be drawn, then it is yet possible that the Poles and/or the Colombians could qualify for the round of 16 on goal difference, in the event that they both win their final games.
Senegal made one change to their team to face Japan, with both teams looking to continue their winning starts. Senegal, who beat Poland 2-1, in their opener, brought in Badou Ndiaye for his Stoke team-mate Mame Biram Diouf. Japan also won their opening match 2-1, Colombia narrowly beaten in Saransk, and decided against changing their winning line-up.
Senegal were leading the game in the 12th minute through Liverpool’s Sadio Mané, not that he knew too much about the goal. Youssouf Sabaly’s shot was parried by the goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima and the ball rebounded off the shins of Mané and into the post.
Japan equalized in the 34th minute when Yuto Nagatomo controlled a long diagonal ball on the left and cut into the area before Takashi Inui took over, shooting the ball into the far right corner.
Moussa Wague then put Senegal back in front in the 71st minute, arriving at the back post to crash an effort into the top of the net after Youssouf Sabaly had played the ball across the face of goal from the left.
But once again Japan replied. The substitute Keisuke Honda taking advantage of a dreadful mistake from Khadim N’Diaye to make it 2-2, the goalkeeper missing his attempted punch, allowing Inui to lay the ball off to Honda to fire into the net.