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Honda’s late strike puts breaks on Teranga Lions perfect W. Cup start

Yekaterinburg, Sunday @PeopleSports11

Keisuke Honda’s late goal earned Japan a deserved 2-2 draw against Senegal in Yekaterinburg on Sunday to keep alive both teams’ hopes of last-16 qualification from Group H.

A lucky deflection off Sadio Mane put Senegal into an early lead, with Takashi Inui levelling. Against the run of play, teenager Moussa Wague put the Africans back in front only for Honda to fire into an open net and snatch a point.

The stalemate leaves both sides on four points. Pointless Poland and Colombia meet later Sunday in Kazan with the last-16 spots determined next Thursday.

No side is guaranteed safe passage to the knockout phase yet – and it looks like nothing will be a certainty until after their final group match.

Both coaches should ultimately be happy with their sides’ play and the final result, though Senegal’s Aliou Cisse might be wondering how his team let a lead slip through their fingers twice.

Ninety minutes of football could not separate the two sides, in what was a brilliant display of football from both teams.  – AGENCIES

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