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Cisse blames Senegal defence for draw against Japan

Japan v Senegal: Group H - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
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Senegal boss Aliou Cisse has blamed his defence after they surrendered their lead twice against Japan in their 2-2 draw on Sunday

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane had given Senegal the lead after capitalising on a mistake from Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

But the Samurai Blue then equalised through a superb curling effort from Takashi Inui before nineteen-year-old defender Moussa Wague restored Senegal’s lead with a fine finish.

But then former AC Milan forward Keisuke Honda came on as a substitute and salvaged a point for Japan just moments after coming on to the pitch.

“Of course there are regrets but we must say we didn’t see a great Senegal team tonight compared to the previous match against Poland,” said Cisse, according to Reuters.

“Despite the fact we were leading twice, what is annoying for me is the two goals we conceded,” he added, accusing his players of lacking rigour and concentration.

“All I know is at this level of competition with the players we have today, who are world-class, these were avoidable goals. That is crystal clear.”

He added: “The best team on the pitch was Japan, we have to admit,”

“We were getting the ball and then we were losing it… I thought there were a lot of technical errors, too many.”

The 42-year-old did not hold back on Mane’s lacklustre display: “Yes, of course, he can do better.”

“Whether it’s Sane or Koulibaly, they’re great players. I think they were perhaps less good today,”

“We’re going to work on that. Koulibaly needs to show his qualities, and Sane the same.”