Mon | Nov 12, 2018

Mané not pleased despite scoring

Published:Monday | June 25, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Senegal’s Sadio Mané (left) celebrates scoring the first goal against Japan during their Group H FIFA World Cup clash at the Yekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia, yesterday.

YEKATERINBURG, Russia (AP):

For Sadio Mane, it was a wasted opportunity.

The Senegal striker scored the first goal in his team's 2-2 draw with Japan yesterday at the FIFA World Cup, so there was something to celebrate. But that does not mean he was satisfied with the result.

"Frankly speaking, I think we are a bit disappointed. And that's normal because there was a way to win this match," Mane said. "We started this game well. ... We were dangerous, but in the end, we scored, and they equalised."

The 26-year-old Liverpool winger, playing in his first World Cup, was named Man of the Match, largely because of his goal.

A charging Mane found himself in the right place at the right time in the 11th minute, deflecting a missed shot by Youssouf Sabaly past Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima to put Senegal ahead 1-0.

Although Japan equalised when Takashi Inui scored with a curling shot in the 34th minute, Mane was involved in the play that led to Moussa Wague's goal in the 71st. Japan, however, earned the draw when substitute Keisuke Honda scored in the 78th.

Two preventable goals allowed, as far as Mane was concerned.

"There was a way for us to win the match, and we didn't do it," Mane said. "We can't underestimate the Japanese team that played very well. They managed to create quite a lot of opportunities, and they scored twice. And now, we have to admit it."

Japan coach Akira Nishino said he thought his defenders did a "pretty good job" on Mane.

"But we were more concerned about him giving positive impact on other players, especially in the first half," Nishino said. "We let him and the other players play freely a bit too much. But as a countermeasure against Sadio Mane, I think we did pretty well."