Keisuke Honda comes off bench to earn Japan 2-2 draw with Senegal
Japan 2-2 Senegal

Keisuke Honda comes off bench to earn Japan 2-2 draw with Senegal

24/06/2018

Japan and Senegal played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Group H which leaves both with work to do in their final matches to qualify for the knockout stage.

Sadio Mane, who had a chance in the second minute but failed to control a through ball, scored his first World Cup goal and his 15th for Senegal in the 11th minute.

A cross from Moussa Wague on the right fell at the feet of Youssouf Sabaly after Genki Haraguchi missed the headed clearance, and although goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima punched Sabaly's shot away, he did so directly onto Mane's knee, and it bounced back into the net.

Japan nearly answered five minutes later, with Makoto Hasebe's strike from 25 yards bouncing back off a teammate, but they did finally level in the 34th minute.

Yuto Nagatomo left a pass over the top for Takashi Inui, who beat goalkeeper Khadim N'Diaye at the right post.

Both teams had chances to reclaim the lead before half-time. In the 39th minute, Badoua Ndiaye released Mbaye Niang and he raced Kwashima to the ball, with the keeper able to make the stop on a weak effort.

And in the 40th minute, Haraguchi leaned too much into an attempt from 20 yards out and skied it over the crossbar.

Inui almost turned the game around for Japan 20 minutes into the second half, but his fine effort came back off the bar.

And it was Senegal who retook the lead five minutes later as Wague met a ball played across the box and coolly sidefooted into the roof of the net for his first international goal.

Japan levelled again in the 78th minute when Khadim N'Diaye failed to deal with a cross into the box, leaving Inui free to cut the ball back to the unmarked Keisuke Honda, who made no mistake.

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31/12/2018
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