Japan and Senegal, the surprise leaders of Group H in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, tied 2-2 in a beautiful duel on Sunday to keep both teams’ hopes of advancing to the knockout round alive. Also Read - Pele Backs Kylian Mbappe to Become Best Player of His Generation, Says French Forward Can Emulate His Tally of 1000 Goals
The Japanese side was more dominant and had more chances in their second match of the tournament, but the Senegalese gave a lesson in effectiveness. Also Read - Manchester City Striker Gabriel Jesus Reflects on His Dipped Form Following World Cup Campaign
With the two teams equal in points and goal difference, Japan provisionally leads the group thanks to having fewer yellow cards. Also Read - Neymar Reveals he Battled Two Injuries Which Affected His World Cup Campaign
Takashi Inui, the 30-year-old winger who recently signed for Spanish side Real Betis, was key to the Samurai Blue’s strong performance Sunday, scoring their first goal in the 34th minute and assisting on another.
For Senegal, which has given up only one defeat in its last 17 matches, Liverpool forward Sadio Mane had a great game, scoring his first goal in the 2018 World Cup just 11 minutes into the match.
The Lions of Teranga stayed in the lead until Inui’s goal, before advancing again thanks to a goal from Moussa Wague in the 71st minute.
However, only seven minutes later, Japan equalized thanks to the goal from Keisuke Honda assisted by Inui.
With Japan and Senegal neck and neck at the top of Group H, the losing side in Sunday’s clash between Colombia and Poland is to be the first of the group to exit the World Cup.