Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Senegal, Japan share the points in thriller

Japan pulled off the greatest offside trap in history against Senegal Senegal, Japan share the points in thriller
Michele Schwartz | 25 June, 2018, 04:21

Senegal started off their World Cup campaign with a convincing 2-1 victory over the higher ranked Poland side containing the likes Robert Lewandoski.

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

Japan and Senegal face off against each other on Sunday knowing that the victor of this match will all but ensure qualification to the next round of the World Cup.

"But after that I think we did pretty well". "And that's normal because there was a way to win this match".

"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".

"Of course, it is very important to neutralise Mane and [Hiroki] Sakai did a pretty good job neutralising him and dulling his threat", Nishino told a news conference.

"There was a way for us to win the match and we didn't do it", Mane said.

Japan and Senegal are now tied atop the Group H table on three points after pulling off upsets in their first games.

The 32-year-old Honda, a former AC Milan forward, became the first Japanese player to score at three World Cups.

Aliou Cisse, the coach of Senegal and the captain of the 2002 team that reached the quarterfinals, said his team needs to be more aggressive.

A win for either side would have more or less put them in the knockout rounds in a clash billed as the pace and power of Senegal against the tactical and technical nous of Japan, who took a gamble and replaced Vahid Halilhodzic with Akira Nishino as coach just weeks before the World Cup.

"We didn't play a great game but we didn't lose..." Japan will play Poland.

The draw keeps the two teams at the top of Group H ahead of their final matches.

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

A late equalizer from Keisuke Honda was enough to claim a point for Japan as they and Senegal both maintained their unbeaten starts in Group H at Russian Federation 2018, placing pressure on Poland and Colombia to ignite their World Cup.

Japan's Genki Haraguchi, left, defends against Senegal's Sadio Mane 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.

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