Japan brought on Keisuke Honda, who at that point had been involved in six of the last eight Japanese World Cup goals, and he delivered again, hitting from close range after Senegal's goalkeeper Khadim N'Diaye failed to solidly clear a cross away from ...
The two teams now await the result of Colombia vs. Poland, which will make the possible permutations of results clearer headed into the final matchday. But either way, each of these teams control their destiny.
Here’s how Japan and Senegal played to a draw:
FULL TIME: Japan 2, Senegal 2
And that’s the final whistle. Senegal might be disappointed at blowing a lead twice, but the good news for both teams is that they control their fate: win their last game and they are in.
90’ + 3: One Last Strike For Senegal Misses
Mane again forces Japan into a foul, and this should be the last change for Senegal. Mane takes the kick and sends it into the box and Diouf tries an acrobatic finish that does not work.
90’ + 1: Senegal Threatens
Senegal win a free kick, push everyone up, and proceed to hit three long balls into the box, to no avail.
90’: Four More Minutes
Four minutes of stoppage time. N’Doye picks up a yellow card contesting a long ball with Yoshida.
88’: Back and Forth
Japan with a hint of danger as they get a cross in from a quick restart that bounces off a Senegalese defender straight to the goalkeeper. Senegal come right back, pass the ball from side to side give it away, and force Sabaly to pick up a yellow card to stop the ensuing Japanese counter
84’: Niang Limps Off
Mame Biram Diouf comes on for Niang, who looks to be limping heavily on his way to the sidelines.
84’: N’Doye’s Header Goes High
Senegal put a hopeful ball into the box and Cheikh N’Doye gets his head to it but the ball sails both high and wide
81’: Another Sub for Senegal
Senegal with another substitution as Cheikh N’Doye comes on for Badou Ndiaye.
79’: Japan Keeps Pushing
Having made two offensive substitutions, Japan can’t really sit back and play for a draw now so they keep coming. Honda tries to slip one through for Okazaki but puts slightly too much on his pass.
78’: GOAL! Honda Equalizes for Japan
Honda, who just came on a few minutes ago, finds an open net after Khadim N’Diaye comes out to punch a cross but doesn’t get nearly enough on the ball. Game on!
Honda has been involved in seven of the last nine Japanese World Cup goals now.
74’: Japan Almost Equalizes
Japan win a corner on the right side after a harmless cross is headed behind by Koulibaly. Honda takes the corner and Osako finds himself unmarked ten yards out. Unfortunately for him Sane is there to block the shot.
72’: Kagawa Off for Japan
Japan takes off Shinji Kagawa, arguably the best player on the team, for Keisuke Honda.
71’: GOAL! Senegal Retakes Lead
Mane plays the ball into the channel for Gueye. Niang misses the cross, and Wague comes in from, where else but the right side, to smash it home.
67’: Yellow for Inui
Inui picks up a yellow card for tugging down Sarr, who had gotten past him on the flank. The action is still mostly on that side of the field — Japan’s left, Senegal’s right.
Mane and Ndiyae standing over the ball discussing creative ideas, before Ndiyae passes it directly to a Japanese defender.
65’: Kouyate On for Senegal
The first substitution as Cheikhou Kouyate comes in for Alfred N’Diaye.
64’: Japan Keeps Firing, and Missing
This time Osako does brilliantly, playing a backheel for Inui, who’s curling effort hits the top of the crossbar much to Khadim N’Diaye’s relief.
63’: Another Japan Attack Fizzles
Another promising attack from Japan goes nowhere as Yuya Osako ultimately puts a floated cross out of play. He’s had a horrid five minutes.
60’: Japan Misses Golden Opportunity
Japan should be up a goal! Yuya Osako is ahead of two defenders in the box after a brilliant cross from Shibasaki but totally misses the ball. It would have been a tap-in.
59’: Yellow for Niang
Niang picks up a yellow card for raking his hand across Gen Shoji’s face while contesting a long ball. The game has been physical but polite so far, no embellishments on either side and players picking each other up all over the place.
54’: Mane Causing Japan Problems
Niang takes a strong shot from outside the box, but hits it right at Eiji Kawashima.
The biggest change in Senegal’s approach so far seems to be the positioning of Sadio Mane. He played almost exclusively on the left in the first half. Here in the second he has come to get the ball centrally much more frequently, causing Japan some problems.
49’: Niang Misses High
Japan with the first good chance of the half. A long ball falls to Osako for a header, but he’s not able to get enough power on the ball to trouble the goalkeeper. Senegal immediately have a chance on the other end, but Niang fires over.
46’: Senegal Comes Out Swinging
And we’re back. Senegal having a nice spell of position — something we hadn’t really seen in the first half. A few cross field passes to stretch the defense before Sarr puts in a cross that’s cleared for a corner. Niang takes it again and again it comes to nothing.
46’: The Numbers
For all of Japan’s possession (61%) and momentum, they’ve only had that one shot on goal, compared to five for Senegal and one corner compared to four for Senegal. They’re going to need to turn all that passing into opportunities to earn a second straight upset.
Halftime: Senegal Starts Strong, but Japan Comes On
After a minute of added time we’re at the halftime break. Senegal started strongly, but Japan have unquestionably been the better team in the last twenty minutes. A tie would leave both teams in charge of their own destiny on the final match day, but on current evidence, there are more goals to be had.
44’: Japan’s Trap Works
Mane is fouled and Senegal have a free kick in a dangerous area. Ndiaye takes again and Japan execute a beautiful offside trap, leaving five Senegalese attackers offside.
43’: Senegal With a Corner
Senegal with a corner on the left. Badou Ndiaye plays a low ball to the near post, where Niang tries to flick it on, but it’s cleared by Yoshida.
39’: Japan Fires Back
Things are getting much more frenzied now. Genki Haraguchi cuts inside from the right wing and blasts an effort over Senegal’s goal.
38’: Niang Makes a Run
Senegal with another great chance, as Niang is played through on goal. Kawashima is quick off his line and makes a solid save on Niang’s outside-of-the-foot effort.
34’: GOAL! Takashi Inui Equalizes for Japan
And Japan have equalized! Takashi Inui, who has been causing Senegal problems all day down that right hand side, finds himself inside the box after an overlap and curls the ball around Khadim N’Diaye. Yuto Nagatomo, Japan’s left-back, who has been targeted by Senegal’s attack, provided the overlap and the assist.
31’: Mane Goes Down
Senegal play a long-ball up to Mane, who gets tangled up with Sakai and stays down for a moment. Looks to be okay though.
30’: Japan Starting to Find Rhythm
The posessions stats are equal, though Senegal has taken six shots to Japan’s one. Senegal’s press has eased up some in the last ten minutes, allowing Japan to find some rhythm.
27’: Corner for Senegal
Mane wins a corner for Senegal. It’s taken by Niang and Alfred N’Diaye got his head to it, but it didn’t go anywhere. Interesting that Senegal have their striker on corner duty. Shades of Harry Kane for England in the European Championships in 2016, although Niang’s delivery looks to be much better.
23’: Senegal Pushes Counterattack
Senegal counterattack off a Japan corner. The first cross misses everyone, but the follow-up is latched on to by Ismaila Sarr, who tries a twisting high-kick that forces the Japanese keeper into a save.
20’: Japan’s Free Kick Goes Nowhere
Japan, like Poland in the first game, is having some success attacking down Senegal’s right (where they start a nineteen-year old at right back). Inui wins a free-kick in a dangerous area, and although it doesn’t come too much, going down the flanks seems to be a better bet than trying to play through Senegal’s midfield.
15’: Japan Gets a Shot Off
Japan have their first real strong moment. One of Senegal’s central defenders pushes up to try to make an interception. He succeeds but immediately gives the ball away, giving Japan a slight number advantage in attack. It ends with a strong Makoto Hasebe long-range shot that gets blocked in the box.
15’: Senegal Keeps Tackling
M’Baye Niang with a sloppy tackle that almost draws a card from Gianluca Rocchi. Japan will take a free kick near the side line.
Japan are having a hard time finding any kind of rhythm in the opening stages. The open spaces that were present against Colombia just don’t exist against a fast and energetic 11-man Senegalese team.
Senegal’s Sadio Mane scored the first goal of Sunday’s World Cup match against Japan. Credit Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press12’: GOAL! Sadio Mane Gives Senegal a 1-0 Lead
And it’s a well deserved goal for Senegal. The right back Wague crosses, it goes all the way through to the left back Sabaly. His shot is saved, but Sadio Mane is in the right place to put in the rebound.
9’: Senegal Gets Physical
Senegal’s press is not just energetic, but physical. Nine minutes in and they’ve already collected three fouls. Free kick to Japan.
8’: Japan’s Defense Holds
Another moment of danger from Senegal, as Youssouf Sabaly gets to the touchline, but his cross goes straight to Japan’s goalie Eiji Kawashima.
Senegal’s Sadio Mane in action with Japan’s Hiroki Sakai during Sunday’s match. Credit Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters6’: Sabaly Goes High
Youssouf Sabaly controls a rebound and fires one well over the bar.
3’: Sadio Mane Scares Japan
Mane almost gets his toe on a dangerous cross in the area, but Senegal comes up empty.
Senegal has made their intentions clear here in the first few minutes. When Japan is in possession, Senegal is pressing high, trying to make sure the Japanese midfield does not get into a passing rhythm. In attack they seem to be targeting Japan’s left back Yuto Nagatomo. It’s worked early, with two corners won and that cross that Mane just could not control.
And we’re off! Japan is in blue, and Senegal wears white.
Weather in Yekaterinburg is perfect, 75 degrees and sunny. The roughly thirty-five thousand person stadium looks to be full, and sounds like a number of fans have brought vuvuzelas, adding to the already energetic atmosphere.
What to Expect
On Tuesday, Senegal played with two pure strikers as they allowed Poland to have 60 percent of possession and looked to counterattack off mistakes. Today they start with an extra midfielder in Ndiaye, suggesting that they expect to have more possession.
On the other hand, Japan is going with what worked the first time, though they’ll have to do it against 11 players instead of the 10 that Colombia ended up with. The first few minutes should make it clear what each team is trying to do in terms of tactics.
Senegal’s Starting Lineup
Just one change for Senegal, as Mame Biram Diouf makes way for Badou Ndiaye.
16 Khadim N’Diaye (GK)
22. Moussa Wague
6. Salif Sane
3. Kalidou Koulibaly
12. Youssouf Sabaly
5. Idrissa Gana Gueye
13. Alfred N’Diaye
17. Badou Ndiaye
10. Sadio Mane
18. Ismaila Sarr
19. M’Baye Niang
Japan’s Starting Lineup
Japan lines up with the same squad that started against Colombia on Tuesday.
1. Eiji Kawashima (GK)
19. Hiroki Sakai
22. Maya Yoshida
3. Gen Shoji
5. Yuto Nagatomo
17. Makoto Hasebe
7. Gaku Shibasaki
8. Genki Haraguchi
10. Shinji Kagawa
14. Takashi Inui
15. Yuya Osako
Players to Watch
• Japan’s Shinji Okazaki, who plays for Leicester in England, was unable to start the game against Colombia because of a calf injury but did come on as a late substitute. If he’s healthy enough to star this time, Japan will look to him as the main goal scoring threat. In midfield, Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund will continue pulling the strings of the attack.
• Senegal will look to Sadia Mane of Liverpool to be their main attacking threat, while Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli, one of the best central defenders in Europe, will anchor the defense that managed to keep Poland scoreless until the last moments of their opening round match.
The video-assistant-referee system has led to a higher percentage of penalty-kick goals than in each previous tournament.
Aliou Cissé was once a World Cup player for Senegal. Now he is one of two native African coaches in the World Cup, and he has Senegal off to a fine start. Read Christopher Clarey’s piece here.
World Cup 2018 (Soccer)