Japan and Senegal are now tied atop the Group H table on three points after pulling off upsets in their first games.


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

"We need to have more concentration and be more rigorous", Cisse said.

But Honda, the former AC Milan midfielder who had only been on the pitch six minutes, hit a deserved late equaliser to become the first Japanese to score at three different World Cups (2010, 2014 and 2018).

Japan managed to equalise in the 34 minute when Takashi Inui pounced on a loose ball inside the box after some slack defending, and he duly fired into the bottom corner from 14 yards out, 1-1.


While he is known for his quiet outward demeanor, the man of the match in Japan's win over the 10-man Colombians in Saransk has a powerful presence within the Samurai Blue squad, according to his teammates. "We didn't play a great game, but we didn't lose".

"We're a bit disappointed... there was a way to win this match", added Mane, who failed to exert his influence despite scoring.

After a sluggish first half against Colombia, despite having a man advantage, Japan's energy picked up and they used the ball much better after the break.

The 32-year-old Honda also scored at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. The change from the 4-4-2 he played against Poland showed his attacking intent and his team quickly repaid him.


"It's important to have that point and we have a decisive game coming up". Surprisingly, Senegal has never lost a group game at the World Cup and will be looking to keep that record intact against Japan.

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