Japan coach Akira Nishino stands by attacking tactics - 'We wanted to win'

Footballer Kalidou Koulibaly

Japan had to twice come from behind to record a 2-2 draw with Senegal in Sunday's World Cup clash in Yekaterinburg.

Mane was the beneficiary of poor defending on 11 minutes when goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima made a mess of a shot, punching the ball into the lurking Liverpool star.

However, Japan gradually got into the contest and duly equalised in the 34th minute, when Yuto Nagatomo brilliantly brought down a diagonal pass by Gaku Shibasaki and fed it to Inui, who - with supreme precision - curled a low effort beyond Khadim N'Diaye's despairing dive into the bottom corner.

Senegal looked on its way to the three points after a goal in the 71st minute by Moussa Wague, but it was not meant to be in what was a highly-entertaining match.

Nineteen-year-old defender Moussa Wague thought he had sealed Senegal's second straight Group H win with a fine finish from an angle but substitute Keisuke Honda salvaged a point for Japan moments after coming on.

Don't miss a moment of the World Cup! And in this game they came from behind twice to draw with a Senegal XI more seasoned and high-profile and, crucially, who have had the same coach for three years.

This is a team that had to deal with the turmoil of a coaching change two months before the start of the tournament, with the high-ups at the Japanese FA deciding that Vahid Halilhodzic was not the man to take their team into the tournament.




"We constructed attacks well and played in our own rhythm".

"He's not particularly talkative with the media, but I think that's because he's just naturally a pretty quiet guy".

"But we were more concerned about him giving positive impact on other players, especially in the first half", Nishino said.

While Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia are already making plans to return home after failing to secure a point, Senegal can still ensure Africa has at least one representative in the last 16.

Yoshida said he expected Japan's opponents to pay much closer attention to Osako in the wake of the former Kashima Antlers forward's starring role in Saransk.

With a victory against Japan, they will be looking to continue in their quest to emulate the 2002 World Cup squad or maybe even go further by reaching the Semi-Finals.

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