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Senegal Draw 2 - 2 With Japan in Thrilling Game at 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Senegal’s World Cup campaign suffered something of a setback on Sunday as the Lions of Teranga were held 2-2 by Japan in Yekaterinburg. In principle, it’s not a dreadful result for the West Africans, who now have four points from their opening two fixtures. However, having twice led the match, Aliou Cisse will surely be disappointed with how things unravelled and how his side let their advantage slide. Colombia’s renaissance against Poland also heaps pressure on Senegal ahead of their final group-stage showdown with the South American heavyweights. Here’s what went right and wrong for the Lions.

 

 Moussa Wague has been one of the revelations for Africa’s teams during the World Cup so far, and boosted his burgeoning reputation further with an excellent showing against Japan. He netted Senegal’s second goal, making him the continent’s youngest ever scorer at the tournament, and he was also influential in the Lions’ opening goal—delivering a fine cross to Youssouf Sabaly.

 

 

Senegal have some exceptional defenders, but in goal, Khadim N’Diaye delivered an unconvincing showing and represents something of a weak link heading into the Colombia game. Notably, he struggled for Japan’s second goal—even though culpability must be shared with Salif Sane. The keeper came out—somewhat recklessly—to attempt to claim a cross, only to miss out after miscommunication with the centre-back. After leaving his goal exposed, Senegal duly conceded their second when Keisuke Honda fired home. Colombia might well target the Horoya man.

On the opposite flank to Wague, Sabaly caught the eye, building on his fine showing in Japan’s opening victory over Poland. Sabaly is playing left-back for Senegal, despite making his name as a right-back in Ligue 1, but casual observers wouldn’t know he’s out of position due to how comfortable he is in his role. He’s two-footed, technically proficient, and boasts an engine which allows him to join the attack and recover to take his defensive position. He was influential in both of Senegal’s goals.

 

Japan didn’t offer much against Colombia, who were reduced to 10 men after the opening minutes in their opener. Despite the man advantage, they couldn’t take control of the game, and only pulled clear after upping the tempo in the second half. They surely would have been eclipsed by Senegal had the Lions attacked with the pace and directness as they did against Poland. Instead, they played within themselves, and struggled to match Japan when the Asians settled into their passing game. This was a missed opportunity for the Lions to nab their Last 16 spot.

 

 

Source: Goal

Africa Team.

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