Moussa Wague celebrates after becoming the youngest African player to score at the World Cup during Senegal’s 2-2 draw with Japan.
The 19-year-old full-back lashed one in on 71 minutes as Senegal looked to secure all three points. Samurai Blue, however fought back for a second time in the match when Pachuca forward Keisuke Honda tapped in at the back post after a scramble, ending a drought that stretches back to September 2016, to earn Japan a 2-2 draw.
Earlier in the game Liverpool forward Sadio Mane had taken advantage of an awful mistake from goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima to deflect in an 11th-minute opener for the Lions of Teranga. New Real Betis winger Takashi Inui levelled things up in style on 34 minutes when he curled a shot into the bottom corner.
The result at Ekaterinburg Arena left both teams on four points at the midway point in the fight to make the round of 16. Neither side are guaranteed to qualify for the later stages after Colombia defeated Poland 0-3 in the other game in Group H. Senegal now face Colombia in the final game of the group stages, where a draw will be enough to see the Africans through to the knockout stages.
The winners of Group H play the runners-up in Group G, which sets up a potential match with England, depending on how Gareth Southgate’s men fare against Belgium on Thursday. The Three Lions will be in confident mood going into the final group fixture having seen off Panama with an impressive 6-1 win on Sunday. Belgium will also fancy their chances of topping the group having picked up six points already in the opening two games, including a 5-2 thumping of Tunisia.
Football fans were treated to a VIP evening of World Cup action at the QD’s fan zone for the dramatic Sweden vs. Germany game. Guests watched Saturday’s action on the venue’s giant screens, as Toni Kroos struck an unstoppable injury-time winner to ensure the Germans live to fight another day, after a surprise World Cup exit loomed.
Around 300 fans packed the venue, 50 of whom were given VIP treatment thanks to Swedish car manufacturer Volvo. Guests were also invited to take part in a competition to win a Volvo XC90 for a week by uploading a selfie on social media. The SUV is globally recognised as one of the safest cars on the road, with a full five-star Euro NCAP rating, thanks to its generous safety equipment including automatic emergency city braking with innovative cyclist and pedestrian detection technology. Not to be overshadowed by it’s bigger brother, the Volvo XC60 also scores maximum points on safety tests, thanks largely to its Blindspot monitoring and Pilot Assist technology. Along with a chance to win the test drive, guests also received Volvo gift bags, with one of the items provided by Middle East Fuji L.L.C, Global promoters for Snap Perfume.
The 2-1 defeat to Germany leaves Sweden with work to do in order to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition. Janne Andersson’s men can still make it to the later stages, even with defeat to Mexico in their next game, but are reliant on the other result in Group F, Germany vs. South Korea, going their way.
Fans have the chance to enter the Volvo prize offering until this Friday at QD’s by taking a selfie with the car displays and uploading it to social media, tagging the image with ‘Trading Enterprises Volvo’ on Facebook or @Tradingenterprises on Instagram.
Germany was rescued from the brink of World Cup elimination after Toni Kroos struck a dramatic injury time winner against Sweden.
Joachim Low’s side were looking towards a surprise early exit from the competition having trailed Sweden 0-1 at half time, only for the holders to snatch victory in the 94th minute of the game.
The four-time World Cup winners were rescued by Kroos’ late thunderbolt, which came as a result of a needless free kick on the edge of the Sweden box deep into stoppage time. The Germans, who finished the game with ten men after Jerome Boateng saw red in the 82nd minute, had dominated the match despite Ola Toivonen giving the Swedes the lead in the 32nd minute.
Germany had over 70 per cent of possession in the first half but Sweden always looked the more threatening of the two sides as they managed to muster four shots to their opponents’ seven. While Low’s side dominated the ball, the Swedes were more than happy to sit back and allow the passing to go on in front of them, restricting the reigning World Cup champions to shots from range.
Sweden were never expected to get a victory against Germany but having taken the lead and then conceding the winner so late, they will be understandably aggrieved to not at least come away with a draw. Nevertheless, they can hold their heads up high. They gave a good account of themselves, perhaps only guilty of sitting too deep in the second half and inviting Germany onto them.
The threat they posed on the break though is remarkable. Given the heart they’ve shown in their opening two games, you wouldn’t bet against them progressing despite this defeat. They will have to beat Mexico by a margin greater than Germany beat South Korea for that to happen but it isn’t outside the realm of possibility.