MATCH CENTRE

SUN 24 JUNE 2018, 17:00, EKATERINGBURG ARENA

2
VS
2

Japan fight back to hold Senegal

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Sun June 24, 19:03

Senegal were held to a 2-2 draw by Japan in their second 2018 FIFA World Cup Group H match at the Yekaterinburg Stadium in Russia on Sunday.

As a result, the Lions of Teranga stay second on the Group H standings, while the Blue Samurai also remain at the top of the table.

The Lions of the Teranga were the better side in the early exchanges and they deservedly broke the deadlock just 11 minutes into the game.

Sadio Mane scored from close range to make it 1-0 to Senegal after Youssouf Sabaly's shot was parried into his path by Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

The Samurai Blue tried to respond with a goal, but Makoto Hasebe's goal-bound long-range shot was blocked inside the Senegal box in the 16th minute.

The Senegal defence which was led by Salif Sane looked solid and organized with Idrissa Gueye working tirelessly just in front of the backline.

Sane, who is set to join German side Schalke 04 next month, made two good clearances from Gaku Shibasaki's free-kick and Yuto Nagamoto's cross.

However, the Senegal defence was exposed in the 34th minute following some good work Nagamoto down the left-hand side.

Nagamoto controlled thall ball well, before setting up Takashi Inui, who curled the ball into the bottom corner to make it 1-1 for Japan.

The Lions of Teranga then tried to restore their lead with the half-time break fast approaching.

M'Baye Niang, who netted for Senegal against Poland on Tuesday, had a chance to score after being sent through on goal by Pape N'Diaye.

However, the lanky forward was brilliantly denied by on-rushing Kawashima to ensure that the first-half ended with Japan and Senegal locked at 1-1.

The Blue Samurai looked lively after the restart and they nearly scored through their main striker Yuya Osako three minutes into the second-half.

The marksman rose highest inside the Senegal box and he forced keeper N'Diaye into a good diving save.

N'Diaye was beaten in the 65th minute by Inui, but the crossbar came to the Lions of Teranga's rescue and the Africans survived a scare.

However, the Lions of Teranga took the lead again against the run of play after some good work by Sabaly down the left-hand side.

Sabaly's cross found an unmarked Moussa Wague, who fired past Kawashima to make it to make it 2-1 to Senegal in the 71st minute.

It was end-to-end stuff as Keisuke Honda proved to be a super-sub after replacing Shinji Kagawa.

The CF Pachuca midfielder fired home with a powerful shot to make it 2-2 for Japan in the 78th minute after the Senegal defence was exposed.

The two teams launched late attacks in search of a winning goal, but it did not come and ultimately, Japan, and Senegal settled for a 1-1 stalemate.

Senegal (1) 2 (Mane 11', Wague 71')
Japan (1) 2 (Inui 34', Honda 78')

Senegal: K.N'Diaye, Wague, Sane, Koulibaly, Sabaly, A. N'Diaye (Kouyate 65'), Gueye, P.N'Diaye (N'Doye 81'), Sadio Mane, Niang (Diouf 87'), I.Sarr.

Japan: Kawashima, Sakai, Yoshida, Shoji, Nagatomo, Shibasaki, Hasebe, Kagawa (Hinda 72'), Haraguchi (Okazaki 75') Inui (Usami 87'), Osako.

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE EKATERINGBURG ARENA
JAPAN GOALS SENEGAL GOALS
14. Takashi Inui (34') 6. Salif Sane (11')
4. Keisuke Honda (78') 22. Moussa Wagué (71')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
1 1
JAPAN STARTING LINEUP SENEGAL STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
16
Defender
3
3
Defender
21
Defender
71'
22
Defender
19
Defender
11'
6
Defender
22
Defender
12
Defender
68'
5
Midfielder
65'
13
Midfielder
75'
8
Midfielder
81'
17
Midfielder
17
Midfielder
5
Midfielder
34'
87'
14
Forward/Striker
18
Forward/Striker
72'
10
Forward/Striker
59'
85'
19
Forward/Striker
15
Forward/Striker
10
SUBSTITUTIONS
Keisuke Honda
Forward/Striker
72'
4
Cheikhou Kouyate
Defender
65'
8
Shinji Okazaki
Forward/Striker
75'
9
Cheikh N'Doye
Midfielder
81'
11
Takashi Usami
Midfielder
87'
11
Mame Biram Diouf
Forward/Striker
85'
9
CARDS
Yuto Nagatomo
Defender
68'
5
Mbaye Niang
Forward/Striker
59'
19
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
GALLERY
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