Aliou Cisse: Japan played better than Senegal

Aliou Cisse: Japan played better than Senegal

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse is unhappy with his side’s showing against Japan in Group H second game of the ongoing FIFA World Cup that ended in a 2-2 draw in Yekaterinburg on Sunday.

The Teranga Lions, who won their opening match against Poland 2-1 on Tuesday, could have booked a place in the next round with a victory over the Samurai Blue.

However, they were pegged back twice to eventually share the spoils, ahead of their meeting with perhaps the most difficult opponent of the group Colombia, who crushed Poland 3-0 also on Sunday.

“We conceded two goals that were avoidable – that was clear. We were not very good, frankly speaking,” Aliou Cisse said.

“The [better] team on the pitch was the Japanese team. They played well, controlled the match but we managed to score two goals and take a point.

“We were not concentrated enough. What is annoying for me is the two goals we conceded.”

Liverpool star Sadio Mane put Senegal ahead after 11 minutes, but got an answer from Takashi Inui moments later. Back from the break, Moussa Wague handed the Lions the lead once more only to see it smashed by Keisuke Honda by the 71st minute.    

 “Japan played as we expected,” Cisse said “They are a very technical team with high passing quality.

“We started the game very well and exerted pressure, pushed them out of their comfort zone, made them make a lot of errors and we exploited that, scoring first.”

However, the former Senegal international believes his team can qualify to the round of 16 from their final group game against Colombia on Thursday.

“We hope to qualify,” he added. “We didn’t play great on Sunday but we didn’t lose.

“We have to believe and have confidence. We have the quality necessary to beat Colombia.

“It is going to be hard-fought. We hoped to have qualified on Sunday but it didn’t happen and it’s up to us to get it right against Colombia.”

The Teranga Lions are on their second appearance at the World Cup.

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