Senegal’s Lions out to seal last-16 berth against Japan

Japan's midfielder Keisuke Honda attends a training session of the Japanese national team in Kazan

The Liverpool forward captained his country in Ekaterinburg and gave them the lead in the 12th minute, when Eiji Kawashima's parry from Youssouf Sabaly's shot rebounded off his shin and in.

Japan are a hard team to assess since they were playing an undermanned Colombia side.

Senegal boss Aliou Cisse made a decision to put three up front for the match at Ekaterinburg Arena, his team's first against an Asian opponent at a World Cup.

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Up next for Japan is a meeting with Poland in Volgograd, where Nishino expects his players to be confident.

Senegal missed the chance to put themselves in a good position to qualify for the round of 16 as they were forced to a 2-2 draw by Japan in Group H of the Russian Federation 2018 FIFA World Cup on Sunday. The African side got off to a fast start, scoring 11 minutes in thanks to a fortunate bounce off Sadio Mane. In the 39th minute, Badoua Ndiaye released Mbaye Niang and he raced Kwashima to the ball, with the keeper able to make the stop on a weak effort.

Kawashima did manage to hold on to a shot from Ismaila Sarr soon after, the FC Metz stopper falling to his left to stop a volley.

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Yuya Osako found himself clear in the six-yard box and Shibasaki crossed the ball right where he needed it, but he could not get his feet in order and the ball sailed through untouched. The most recent game was back in 2003, with Senegal winning 1-0.

Japan coach Akira Nishino said he plans to hound the star striker out of the game and is prepared to put three men on Mane if necessary. The Eibar forward first scored with a glorious curler and just when Wague looked to have sealed victory, he capitalised on a poor punch to lay the ball on a platter for Honda to tap home and rescue a point for the Samurai Blue. Keisuke Honda has been involved in six of Japan's last eight goals scored at World Cups (three goals and three assists), and is now registered at +292 to score a goal anytime in this game.

Despite being a man up for the majority of their opener, Japan showed their opponents too much respect and didn't close them out of possession.

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Senegal's Sadio Mane, left, gestures to teammate Khadim Ndiaye at the end of their group H match between Japan and Senegal at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Yekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Sunday, June 24, 2018.

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