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Honda goal gives Japan a 2-2 draw against Senegal at World Cup

47 Comments
By KAREL JANICEK

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47 Comments
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Outstanding teams and fans, well done!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Apparently Japan is not going to be the first team to exit the WC; not what the JT resident pundits were predicting since they qualified for 2018.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It was an exciting match, great for both teams and their classy fans! At first I thought Senegal would be too big, too fast, and too powerful, but Japan found a way to come back and tie it.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Fantastic game again from Samurai Blue! Honda Keisuke was brilliant, and should see more time Vs Poland. Everyone (especially foreign commenters) was saying the africans were “too big” “too fast”. But Samurai matched them. I dont see Poland causing many problems next game,they are playing terribly. Go Samurai Blue!!

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Good work Japan - next up Poland. Another win and Japan will top the group - but Poland will be keen to salvage something.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Good job Japan! I would not look past Poland. They may seem to have been playing poorly but they are a good team and it would be foolish to underestimate them

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Every game is a new challenge. Japan has been able to adapt. Hope they do as well against Poland.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Impressed by Nishino to be honest. When Japan made a managerial switch just before the World Cup I thought it was a bad decision, but his tactics have been spot on in the first 2 games. Really plays to their strengths well.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I was predicting three losses and was wrong

The team really raised its level with spirit since this World Cup start, a big change compared to their poor games over the last few months.

A good surprise

The team deserves to qualify for the second phase

9 ( +9 / -0 )

senegalese fans showing that competition on the field need not lead to animous in the stands. well down to all those who collaborated to tidy up the stands.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Peeping_TomToday 04:42 am JSTApparently Japan is not going to be the first team to exit the WC; not what the JT resident pundits were predicting since they qualified for 2018.

i believe that distinction belongs to regional rivals South Korea. they made very poor showings of themselves in both of their first two matches by failing to capitalize on any of their forays into the strike zone. moreover, their inability to clear the ball on defense insured numerous second-chances on rebounds resulting from the keeper deflecting shots.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan stronger in the second half again, so credit to their fitness and what the manager is doing.

They didn't look like they had goals in them going into the tournament, but that's a brace in both their opening games. Even if its is just from forcing mistakes, they're all valid goals. They all count.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In sports luck plays a big part, no more so than in soccer.

But I'm pleased the results to date have gone close to how I thought. Poland hasn't been the boss as everyone expected - me too, but I've always said Sengal & Colombia are no shoe-ins against Japan and that's played out.

Many of the Media and team supporter naysayers who were saying "Oh no, we have to play giants in our group" or "We've got a new manager late and he's not experienced" etc etc are now cheering. The fair-weather supporters as I noted in an earlier post. lol.

I hope Japan goes through, but still one big game against Poland.

Best thing in this world cup to date is the underdog is barking across many groups.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Does the cleanup occur at J-League games as well? Japanese fans are exemplary.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was expecting a draw and never to Japan lose this match. It could be 0-0 or 1-1 but 2-2 was excellent Japan to score back Senegal. Next match for Japan against Poland will be decisive to Japan go to knockdown tournament if Japan will not be defeated. On the other side Colombia seems stronger than Senegal. Bigger possibility to Japan up-going.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It can still go both ways, but if they make the final 16, that would be a great deal for the blues and Japan in general. Finally something to cheer about. But lets not underestimate Poland, they will fight hard to win. Gonna be exciting this Friday. Good day and time for the match too.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@kohakuebisu - One good think you brought up; I also noticed the Japanese side seems to have a very high level of fitness and endurance. They might not have the most skilled team but their stamina and their refusal to give up reminds me of the Nadeshiko team in 2011.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well, credit where it's due; didn't think Japan would do this well. I still think it's largely to the red card getting them off to a good start, but that's part of the game, too. As to "Honda's goal", it was a team effort -- all Honda did was wait in front of the goal. That, too, is part of the game, but the idea that his shot was skilful is playing it up a bit. Now the other shots in the game -- they were good! And is Honda getting more plastic surgery, just out of curiosity? He looks awful!

Anyway, looks like they may well get through, which is good for the nation and Asia. Although a lot of people who hated soccer yesterday are jumping in the polluted Dotonbori River in Osaka now, and may well be sporting the Samurai Blue jersey tomorrow, I think some actual fans appreciate what's happening, and it will create more.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

http://lastwordonfootball.com/2018/06/24/keisuke-honda-rescues-draw-for-japan-to-leave-group-h-wide-open/

There's not much margin for error with that shot. The ball was off the ground and I'm under the impression a lot of Japanese players would have missed that shot. Well done, Honda. As for his appearance, it is speculated that Honda has / had Basedow (Graves) disease.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I thought Sakai was superb and fearless, really provided a much needed physical presence in defense (was really worried when Osako missed an absolute sitter! shouldn't happen at this level).

Colombia beating Poland convincingly was the best result J could hope for. Japan now only need a draw vs Poland to go through (a narrow loss combined with a Colombia win -by 2 or more- vs Senegal would also be ok).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As to "Honda's goal", it was a team effort -- all Honda did was wait in front of the goal. That, too, is part of the game, but the idea that his shot was skilful is playing it up a bit.

He scored. He has now scored in 3 World Cup tournaments. He came off the bench to assist the winner v Colombia and came off the bench to score the equalizer last night. Great stuff from a very good player. Your strange dislike of him is very confusing.

Japan in with a very good chance of the last 16. Great performance.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I was watching the match on BBC Sport and the English pundits were discussing their own team instead of analysing Japan and Senegal. What a lack of respect.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I was reading a thread about Japan’s World Cup chances when I came across this:

Don't worry guys, England will join Japan on the plane home after crashing out of the group stage.

Talking about England in a thread about Japan. What a lack of respect.

Great predictions by the way.

Did you watch all 6 goals last night?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Some great play from Japan

They need a stronger left winger though to match Honda.

Nice to see some positive news for Japan too!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They might not have the most skilled team but their stamina and their refusal to give up reminds me of the Nadeshiko team in 2011.

Don't think it's a fair comparison, as the Lady Samurai Blue were literally in a different league back then!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Exciting game, I enjoyed it! Both teams have a chance of progressing - I hope Japan does - but theyd do well to ditch their respective keepers. They both had howlers! Veteran Kawashima has served his nation well, but it’s time someone tapped him on the shoulder. Honda on the other hand was at his best!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wanted Japan to win the game . I hope that Japan can advance to the final stage.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan is very wonderful. I hope Japan wins! I thought Keisuke Honda was a soccer god.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Honda was in the right place at the right time. Magic. Made it look easy. A far better goal than Harry Kane's blind heel chip.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A thoroughly entertaining game somewhat spoiled by poor defending from both sides. Kawashima dropped yet another clanger for the first Senegal goal, bizarrely punching the ball straight at Mane. I can't believe he's the best goalkeeper in the country, he seems permanently error-prone.

Still, Japan showed good character to come back twice and could even have won but Osako missed a sitter, a total karaburi from six yards out. A point against woeful Poland may well be enough to see Japan through to the knockout tournament, which would be a tremendous achievement considering that 90% of their fellow countrymen expected nothing but an early exit.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

quercetum - I often go and watch FC Tokyo. You don't get the clean-up that you see at the World Cup (which started spontaneously but now seems to be rather ostentatiously done because of all the self-praise in the Japanese media), but the fans do leave the stadium very tidy even if they are not picking up the litter of others.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A point against woeful Poland may well be enough to see Japan through to the knockout tournament

Alfie Noakes - a point WILL be enough.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is Kawashima the best GK available? He himself does not seem to believe it, that scowl covering up some kind of self-doubt. The guy annoys me for some reason. I have been hoping for years that they would bring in someone younger and more flexible, but if the selectors keep giving him the benefit of the doubt, then I have generally followed along, unenthusiastically.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can't forget his goal of South Africa World Cup. Does anyone remember his no rotating chute? Recenty I felt he became pretty weak but he is still amazing player.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese fans are the best! They put the fans of many other so-called "advanced nations" to shame.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

So many missed opportunities! The Blue Samurai where clearly the better team

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan became the one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If Blue Samurai were the better team they would have scored at least 1 more point than Senegal.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

If Blue Samurai were the better team they would have scored at least 1 more point than Senegal.

If you were a better poster you would realize it is impossible to get 2 points from a game of football.

That was a fine performance from Japan, they ran Senegal ragged for large parts of the match. Kawashima makes me nervous every time he goes near the ball though

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I remember his goal of South Africa World Cup. Does anyone still remember his no rotating chute? Recently, he was not conspicuous but he is still amazing player.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Aliou Cisse needs to go into movies when he is done coaching.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was watching the match on BBC Sport and the English pundits were discussing their own team instead of analysing Japan and Senegal. What a lack of respect.

This is precisely what happened in reverse during the NHK coverage of the England v Panama game. It happens everywhere because they are appealing to their audiences.

Either way, Japan played a lot better than I predicted they would and got themselves a very important point. Would love to see my native England take on Japan in the KO round.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

good game, good luck to the next game vs poland.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many of the Media and team supporter naysayers who were saying "Oh no, we have to play giants in our group" or "We've got a new manager late and he's not experienced" etc etc are now cheering. The fair-weather supporters as I noted in an earlier post. lol.

I have been a huge fan of the Samurai Blue since 2002 when Nakata, Ono, Inamoto, Nakamura, Miyamoto, etc. I go to every friendly match or Kirin Cup that is played in Kansai or Chubu and have seen them play in the World Cup abroad twice.

75-90% of fans only support when they are winning and it all depends on how well they did from the previous World Cup. 2014's World Cup wasn't that great for Japan so it was quite easy to get tickets over the past 4 years. There were tons of empty seats in fact. As I tried to buy tickets for their September matches, they were sold out instantly. I really don't care who chooses to be a fan but it annoys me that I can't buy tickets suddenly lol

Anyways Go Japan! Don't underestimate Poland and get that 1st seed!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"75-90% of fans only support when they are winning and it all depends on how well they did from the previous World Cup. 2014's World Cup wasn't that great for Japan so it was quite easy to get tickets over the past 4 years. There were tons of empty seats in fact. As I tried to buy tickets for their September matches, they were sold out instantly. I really don't care who chooses to be a fan but it annoys me that I can't buy tickets suddenly lol"

DaDude agree with you, All countries bandwagon jump, but I feel Japan is the worst at Bandwagon jumping. When the Hiroshima Carp won the Japan Series all of a sudden I saw Carps caps and jersey all over Kanto. I stopped wearing my cap it was embarrassing lol, or when The Rugby team went on a run at the last WC. apparently "down since Day 1" fans came out of the wood work.

SmithinJapan didn't say anything negative about Honda, he was right in the right place at the right time. Inui was the man of the match, Shibasaki made some crucial passes, Yoshida was steady in the back.

Honda's brash style back in 2010 era made Honda the star but real Samurai blue fans outside of kids would not say he is the best player only fair weather fans and media who always push him even though he is in his proper role now as a energy/super sub. I remember try hards that believed hype he was on World Elite level with Ronaldo, and Messi in that era hahaha.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan worked hard. Good luck with the next match.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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