- A high-intensity Japan twice came from behind to earn draw
- Sadio Mane and Wague scored for Senegal
- Takashi Inui and Keisuke Honda equalise for Japan
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.
They started with real attacking intent and they were rewarded. Niang was causing problems with his pace and power, while Sadio Mane was putting Japanese supporters on edge with his forceful and direct runs. Sar 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, Japan was saved by their talisman Keisuke Honda. Substitute Keisuke Honda equalised at 78th minute of the game, finishing off Inui’s cut-back pass from close range.
He was left on the bench but came on to salvage a much-needed point for the Japanese to keep the group wide open. Some dodgy goalkeeping handed Senegal their first goal, but a brilliant finish from Inui was the pick of the goals. It was a very close game against the Japan, with a Honda goal levelling the score between the two teams in the dying embers of the game.
Team news is in for #JPNSEN!
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 24, 2018
Japan: K. Honda (S. Kagawa, 72′), S. Okazaki( G. Haraguchi, 75′), T. Usami (T. Inui, 87′)
Senegal: C. Kouyaté (A. N’Diaye , 65′), C. N’Doye (Badou N’Diaye , 81′), M. Diouf (M. Niang , 86′)
Referee: Gianluca Rochhi (ITA) ; VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)