World Cup: Japan 2 Senegal 2 - 5 things you need to know

Senegal's forward Ismaila Sarr (left) vies with Japan's midfielder Takashi Inui during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group H football match between Japan and Senegal at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg, on June 24, 2018.
Senegal's forward Ismaila Sarr (left) vies with Japan's midfielder Takashi Inui during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group H football match between Japan and Senegal at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg, on June 24, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

The pride of Asia meets the Lions of Teranga as Japan drew 2-2 with Senegal. Aliou Cisse's men played their usual game based on their pace and power but Akira Nishino's team never gave up and gave the continent much to cheer about with a superb battling display.

1. The goals

Japan (Takashi Inui 34th minute, Keisuke Honda 78th), Senegal (Sadio Mane 11th, Moussa Wague 71st)

2. The wow moment

After going down to Mane's opener, the Samurai Blue fought back in style with a memorable piece of finishing from Inui. The forward, who plays in Spain for Eibar, was set up by left-back Yuto Nagatomo inside the Senegal box and he underlined his class by calmly curling the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

3. The talking point

David de Gea and Willy Cabellero may have dropped shocking clangers so far but Eiji Kawashima has made it two howlers in two games at this World Cup. First, he allowed a tame free-kick to creep across the line against Colombia and against Senegal, his bizarre punch off Youssouf Sabaly's tame shot rebounded into the net off Mane. Japan have impressed with their spirited performances and technique but Kawashima will need to cure his butter fingers ailment pronto.

4. The star

Twice Senegal took the lead and twice, Inui stood up to deny the Africans a second straight victory at this World Cup. The Eibar forward first scored with a glorious curler and just when Wague looked to have sealed victory, he capitalised on a poor punch to lay the ball on a platter for Honda to tap home and rescue a point for the Samurai Blue.

5. What the result means

With a 2-1 opening win and now a 2-2 draw, Japan and Senegal now jointly lead Group H with identical records but that could change hours later pending the outcome of the Colombia-Poland match. The group is still open at the moment but one thing you cannot discount after witnessing the evidence in this match is Japan's strength of character. They will keep fighting and clawing their way out against the odds.