Japan battles to draw against Senegal to keep World Cup hopes alive

Footballer Kalidou Koulibaly

Senegal dropped Stoke City's Mame Diouf in favour of clubmate Papa Alioune Ndiaye for Sunday's crucial World Cup Group H match against Japan, who are unchanged.

"The same preparation is necessary for Japan, we have to question everything in the same way", said Cisse, the celebrated captain of Senegal's 2002 squad that reached World Cup quarter- finals under French man Bruo Metsu.

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.

Backed by a vocal Japanese following who never stopped singing and with the locals also on their side, Japan were now the better side after a nervous start.

Working down the Africans' left side, the 26-year-old talisman Mane was only a sporadic danger.

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The match, which has been billed as one between Senegal's physicality and Japan's tactical nous, will see the victor reach six points and take a huge step towards qualifying for the knockout stages.

Inui then struck the bar from distance after the Senegal defence went AWOL.

Just five or so minutes later Senegal looked as though they may have done enough to claim three points when 19-year-old right back Moussa Wague turned in at the far post following good work from Senegal on the left flank for his first ever global strike but late substitute Keisuke Honda broke Senegalese hearts with an equalizer on 78 minutes.

But Honda, the former AC Milan midfielder who had only been on the pitch six minutes, hit the late equaliser to leave Group H up for grabs.



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