Japan and Senegal play out entertaining draw

World Cup Group H, Ekaterinburg Arena – Japan 2 (Inui 34’ Honda 78’) Senegal 2 (Mane 11’ Wague 71’)

Keisuke Honda became the first Japanese player to score in three different World Cups as he rescued a 2-2 draw against Senegal in Group H.

Sadio Mane’s fortuitous opener was cancelled out by Takashi Inui’s curling finish as the sides went in level at the break.

Moussa Wague restored Senegal’s lead after the restart – cementing his place in history as the youngest African to score at the finals aged 19 years and eight months – only for Honda to restore parity on 78 minutes.

Japan had plenty of other second-half chances – including one for Inui which struck the outside of the crossbar – while Senegal dominated the possession and looked dangerous at set pieces throughout.

Both sides remain undefeated on four points.

TALKING POINT

Will this group be settled on the pitch? After two matches Japan and Senegal now have identical records – one win, one draw, four goals for, three goals against. Maybe the fair play element will be a factor in deciding Group H.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Moussa Wague (Senegal): Lively, bright, fearless, skilful, and now record-breaking. Great game for him.

PLAYER RATINGS

Japan: Kawashima 7, Shoji 7, Nagatomo 7, Sakai 7, Yoshida 7, Shibasaki 7, Haraguchi 7, Kagawa 7, Inui 8, Hasebe 7, Osako 8. Subs: Usami 7, Okazaki 8, Honda 8.

Senegal: Khadim Ndiaye 6, Koulibaly 7, Sabaly 8, Wague 8, Gueye 7, Sane 7, Alfred Ndiaye 7, Pape Alioune Ndiaye 7, Mane 8, Sarr 8, Niang 7. Subs: Kouyate 7, N’Doye 7, Diouf 7.

KEY MOMENTS

11′ – GOAL! Senegal 1-0 Japan. What a ludicrous goal! Good cross to the far post from Wague, absolute failure to clear from Haraguchi, and the goalkeeper pushes it out against Mane’s legs.

34′ – GOAL! Senegal 1-1 Japan. And Japan level! Nagatomo on the left puts the ball in to Inui, who sends it home cleanly.

60′ – WHAT A CHANCE! Osako should be able to make this count, but he doesn’t even make contact. The ball comes in from the right, pinging across to his feet in front of two despairing Senegal defenders.

65′ – SO CLOSE! Inui hits the bar! He’s racing down the left, cutting in through the back line, lets his shot rip, but instead of it curling into the far corner it strikes the outside of the bar.

71′ – GOAL! Senegal 2-1 Japan. And when it gets back into the box following a throw, Wague is running in at the far post to smash that home.

78′ – GOAL! Senegal 2-2 Japan. What a mix-up! The goalkeeper rushes out and reaches for clean air, Okazaki steps across the goalkeeper, and Honda slides that home!

KEY STATS

Keisuke Honda is now the top-scoring Asian player in World Cup history, netting four goals in nine total appearances in the competition.

Senegal haven’t lost any of the previous 15 international matches that Sadio Mane has scored in, winning nine games and drawing the other six.

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