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World Cup 2018: The best and worst players from Japan v Senegal 

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It was a hard-fought battle between Japan and Senegal
Modified 25 Jun 2018, 00:22 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

It ended all square between Japan and Senegal in the Central Stadium as the game finished 2-2. Aliou Cissé's side led twice but were cancelled out by Takashi Inui and Keisuke Honda. For the African side, Sadio Mane and Moussa Wague got onto the score sheet.

The first-half had little to separate the sides as both of them opted for different approaches to proceedings. If viewed in the tactical aspect, it was an absorbing half, with Japan doing the talking in possession and Senegal banking on their counter-attacking propensity.

Despite having just 39% of the ball, the Senegalese created 4 chances, one more than Japan in the same period of play. Sadio Mane broke the deadlock with a fortuitous goal before Japan's star player in Inui restored parity to get his side back in it.

Since then, it was even-steven for the rest of the half. The match resumed in the same way after the break with Japan buying time for themselves in possession and Senegal playing it rough.

The Blue Samurais were clearly the better side in the early parts of the half, winning balls high up the pitch, playing lovely diagonals to spread the attack and creating more chances. Inui struck the frame of the goal after his side had piled enough pressure, and Osako missed an easy chance from point-blank range.

However, against the run of play, Moussa Wague struck home a well-taken goal. Japan's sloppiness and frailties at the back were clearly exposed here. Just a few minutes later, Keisuke Honda was off the bench and on the score sheet to leave the result hanging in the balance.

Akira Nishino's side trailed twice and responded with character and resolve. Leaving the football pitch, they would have felt they deserved three points more than Senegal.

Here are five players who endured the most contrasting of expeditions:

#5 Best: Ismaila Sarr

Sarr unleashed his pace to good effect

Ismaila Sarr was in fabulous touch this game.

He shifted gears quite often and charged down the flank to add more to the attack. His pace coupled with sharpness had a massive impact on the outcomes of their attacks.

While building up for the first goal, it was his interchange of passes between Wague and Niang that led to the opening. Sarr's touch and quick decision-making skill gave him an upper hand while he dribbled past opponent defenders.

He was one of the main catalysts of Senegal's counter-attacking threat, as he combined well with his teammates and tried to find passes quickly.

Also to add, the 20-year-old smartly entered the box in order to include a final product, whenever Wague exploited the wider areas and stretched Japan's defence.

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Published 25 Jun 2018, 00:22 IST
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