Socceroo Daniel Arzani is still overwhelmed by the support from fans at the World Cup. He has 37 global goals in his career.
Coach Aliou Cisse is proud of his players while claiming the whole of Africa is rooting for Senegal.
Although a draw would be enough, Japan’s philosophy under new coach Akira Nishino has been an attacking one and they are likely to go for the win against the disappointing Poles.
Japan stunned 10-man Colombia to take charge of Group H and Nishino revealed that some of his players had wanted to settle for a draw after 45 minutes with the scores locked at 1-1.
With Japan and Senegal both winning their opening games, victory for either would virtually seal a place in the last 16 in Russian Federation.
The ball bounced off the striker and into the net for his first goal at this tournament – cue raucous Senegal celebrations with Khadim N’Diaye racing the length of the pitch to join in. “I evaluate it as a very good point”.
Japan’s response came around the 34th-minute mark when Inui collected the ball just inside the box and drilled it into the bottom corner.
Not to be outdone, Senegal completed its own upset about thee hours later, beating a Polish side that was dominant by every statistical measure but had the misfortune of conceding a first-half own goal. Japan had only two. “I get calls and lots of people are proud and we are proud to represent the African continent”. On their only other appearance at the World Cup they reached the quarter-finals in 2002. We must pay tribute to them. “We didn’t lose today”.
“We started this game well”.
The result leaves both Senegal and Japan with four points, while Group H rivals Colombia have three after they cruised past Poland 3-0 in the final match of the day.
The two unfancied sides are in a group also containing Colombia and Poland lead the standings after one game, and in pole position to make the knockout stages – something these two countries have done only three times between them. “Senegal is a very tough team and this result, I hope, will lead to success in the next match”.
For the second straight match, Japan had high-profile support in the stands.
John Sulo captured the moment when he and a few Japan fans bonded after the soccer match.