Japan ground out a draw in their second group game against Senegal. The “Samurai Blue” remain undefeated in the tournament so far.
Senegal pulled off a shock win in their first game against Poland and have climbed to top of the table alongside Japan. The contest between the two group leaders proved a thrilling affair with plenty of goals. Senegal dominated early on and took the lead. Sadio Mane managed to deflect the ball with his knee into the net (11’). They didn’t stay ahead long, however. The West Africans didn’t take their chances, unlike Japan. Takashi Inui caressed the ball into the goal and leveled the match before half time (39’).
The second half began and the contest heated up as neither team wanted a loss after their opening victories. The “Samurai Blue” were dominant at times, but went behind once again. Their goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima could do nothing but watch as Moussa Wague hammered the ball into the net (71’). Keisuke Honda came on for Shinji Kagawa and promptly leveled the score once again. The Senegal defence couldn’t clear the ball and Honda snapped up the chance (78’).
Takashi Usami was subbed on for goalscorer Inui shortly before the final whistle (90’). No one dared make a mistake in the last few minutes lest they throw away the chance to compete for pole position in the group. On Sunday, 28th June (16:00) Japan face Poland, who are already eliminated.