herald

Saturday 17 November 2018

Cisse regrets failure to beat Japan

Japan 2-2 Senegal

On target: (l-r) Senegal scorers Moussa Wague and Sadio Mane
On target: (l-r) Senegal scorers Moussa Wague and Sadio Mane

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse admits he was left with regrets as Japan twice came from behind to earn a draw and forestall his side from securing their place in the knock-out stages of the World Cup.

Having both won their respective opening games in Group H, this was a chance for either nation to qualify for the round of 16 but the 2-2 draw in Ekaterinburg means both still have work to do.

Sadio Mane and Moussa Wague had twice put Senegal ahead, only for Japan to respond on both occasions as Takashi Inui and substitute Keisuke Honda equalised.

Cisse - who saw his side beat Poland in their first game - felt his players did not reach the same level as they allowed Japan back into this contest.

"Of course we have regrets," he said. "We must acknowledge that we didn't see a great Senegalese performance tonight in comparison to the match against Poland.

"We were not very good frankly, and Japan were the better team, I have to admit that. But despite that fact, we led twice and what's annoying for me is the two goals we conceded. Japan played as expected; they are a very technical team with such good quality in that respect.

"We pressured them well at the start and they made some errors, which we exploited. But as soon as we gave them some space, it became difficult for us."

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