Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Japan vs Senegal - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - June 24, 2018 Japan's Hiroki Sakai and Maya Yoshida in action with Senegal's Cheikh N'Doye and M'Baye Niang

Japan Fight Back Twice to Earn 2-2 Draw With Senegal in Group H Match

© REUTERS / Carlos Garcia Rawlins
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Japan fought back twice against Senegal to earn a 2-2 draw in an entertaining Group H match in Yekaterinburg on Sunday, with a total of 32,572 people attending the game.

Senegal striker Sadio Mane gave his side the lead 11 minutes into the game after Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima saved an effort from Mane's teammate Youssouf Sabaly but punched the ball straight into the legs of the Senegalese forward.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Japan vs Senegal - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - June 24, 2018 Senegal's Sadio Mane scores their first goal past Japan's Eiji Kawashima
© REUTERS / Andrew Couldridge
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Japan vs Senegal - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - June 24, 2018 Senegal's Sadio Mane scores their first goal past Japan's Eiji Kawashima

Japan, however, was fast to respond, with midfielder Takashi Inui scoring the goal. However, later he was yellow carded.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Japan vs Senegal - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - June 24, 2018 Senegal's Khadim N'Diaye is beaten as Japan's Takashi Inui (not pictured) scores their first goal
© REUTERS / Marcos Brindicci
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Japan vs Senegal - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - June 24, 2018 Senegal's Khadim N'Diaye is beaten as Japan's Takashi Inui (not pictured) scores their first goal

Moussa Wague put his side back in front in the 71st minute, smashing the ball into the roof of the net and leaving the goalkeeper with no chance following a backheel from M'Baye Niang.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Japan vs Senegal - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - June 24, 2018 Senegal's Moussa Wague scores their second goal
© REUTERS / Marcos Brindicci
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Japan vs Senegal - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - June 24, 2018 Senegal's Moussa Wague scores their second goal

However, the advantage did not last long as substitute Keisuke Honda found another equalizer and in the process became the first Japanese player to score at three World Cup’s.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Japan vs Senegal - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - June 24, 2018 Japan's Keisuke Honda scores their second goal
© REUTERS / Marcos Brindicci
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Japan vs Senegal - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - June 24, 2018 Japan's Keisuke Honda scores their second goal

Japan and Senegal both won their opening matches at the World Cup 2-1 and are currently top of Group H with four points.

A draw for both sides in their final group games will see Senegal and Japan through to the round of 16.

Liverpool and Senegal forward Sadio Mane has been named in the starting lineup for Senegal in their second World Cup group stage match against Japan, FIFA announced on their official website on Sunday.

Prior to the match, Japan coach Akira Nishino joked that their side would need to improve their physicality to take on the Senegalese.

"For the past several days, I have been telling my players to gain 5cm and 5kg but it failed! So we need other measures," he stated. "If there's a lot of physical contact then we will be at a disadvantage, therefore we will have to make some variations and then we can use our quickness."

Senegal's starting XI:

Goalkeeper: Khadim Ndiaye;

Defenders: Kalidou Koulibaly, Salif Sane, Youssouf Sabaly, Moussa Wague;

Midfielders: Idrissa Gueye, Alfred Ndiaye, Papa Ndiaye, Ismaila Sarr:

Forwards: Sadio Mane, Mbaye Niang.

Japan's starting XI:

Goalkeeper: Eiji Kawashima;

Defenders: Gen Shoji, Yuto Nagatomo, Hiroki Sakai, Maya Yoshida;

Midfielders: Gaku Shibasaki, Genki Haraguchi, Shinji Kagawa, Takashi Inui, Makoto Hasebe;

Forward: Yuya Osako

Japan's fans cheer waiting for a start of the World Cup Group H soccer match between Japan and Senegal at the Ekaterinburg stadium, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, June 24, 2018
© Sputnik / Pavel Lisitsyn
Japan's fans cheer waiting for a start of the World Cup Group H soccer match between Japan and Senegal at the Ekaterinburg stadium, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, June 24, 2018
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2018 FIFA World Cup, Japan, Senegal
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