Japan and Senegal keep World Cup knockout hopes alive with a thrilling 2-2 draw

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MOSCOW: Japan twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Senegal in their second Group H encounter of the FIFA World Cup 2018 at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Russia on Sunday.

 

Goals from Senegal captain Sadio Mane and Moussa Wague were matched by strikes from Takashi Inui and Keisuke Honda for the Samurai Blue. The draw means both nations go into the final round of matches on four points.

The match has been one of the most balanced matches so far in the tournament with both teams playing end to end football. Senegal broke the deadlock in the 11th minute when Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima punched a cross into Mane’s leg and the ball bounced back over the line and in.

Inui levelled the score in 34th minute by scoring a brilliant low shot curler beating the Senegalese defenders. Before the build-up to the goal, Japan was looking dangerous with their attacking prowess

Japan started the 2nd half brilliant and had the better chances.  Japan's attacking possession went in vain as M Wague from Senegal scored in the 71st minute. Japan never gave up and made a few changes which did the work. Kagawa was substituted for the veteran Honda, who turned in a brilliant Inui pull-back with 12 minutes remaining to give the Asian side a share of the points.

The draw means both nations go into the final round of matches on four points at the top of the group. Japan will be next meeting Poland on June 28th, which will take place at the same time as Senegal’s fixture against Colombia. The group H is all open and up for grabs. (With inputs from agencies)

Image Credit: AFP

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