Twitter Reacts as Japan Earn a Point Against Senegal in Thrilling 2-2 Draw
Japan had named an unchanged starting eleven following the nation's surprise victory over Colombia. While the East Asians topped their group in the World Cup qualifiers, they had an underwhelming journey while preparing for the oncoming competition.
The much-needed victory over the South Americans certainly boosted the Blue Samurais' confidence. A victory for either side would see them have a foot in the Round of 16.
Senegal pressed high right from the start of the game. It was the first time that The Lions of Teranga met an Asian opponent in the competition. The African nation secured a 2-1 victory against Poland in their opener after mistakes from their opponents.
11 minutes into the match, Sadio Mane broke the deadlock. Eiji Kawashima punched the ball into Mane's path before it was deflected into his own net. It was an unlucky beginning for the Asians as the costly mistake had caused them to concede early in the fixture.
Both sides had fairly equal possession. In the 34th minute, Japan equalized through Inui. Yuto Nagatomo delivered the ball perfectly for his teammate to score. All of a sudden, Akira Nishino's men were back into the game. They responded perfectly to Senegal's constant counter-attacking threat.
In terms of physicality, the Japanese lost out to the Senegalese. The Asians have a smaller build and lost aerial duels in the air. At the same time, they moved the ball much slower than their opponents.
Osako who scored the winner against Colombia almost had the chance to do so for his nation once again. Any contact with the ball to poke it into the net would have done justice to the scoreline. However, he failed to do so. Chance fell to Inui in the 64th minute, but the goalscorer was unable to keep his shot low and into the net.
Overall, the Japanese put up an extremely strong performance in the second 45 minutes of the match. They looked much more serious in their game and displayed their desire to get all three points. Unfortunately, Moussa Wague regained the lead for his side in the 71st minute. The 19-year-old was unmarked and he did exactly what he needed to in that position.
Substitute and veteran player, Keisuke Honda, equalised for Japan just when he had the chance to do so. It was one that his team needed very much and could be a crucial goal in with respect to the final group standings.
The Samurai Blue had plenty of chances. They improved much more after the break and showed their desire to get all three points.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the 2-2 scoreline.