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U17 World Cup

U17 World Cup: Japan's late goal sinks Senegal

07:49 GMT 03/11/2019
Senegal fans
The young Teranga Lions succumbed to a late goal for their only group stage defeat at the age-group tournament

Japan forward Jun Nishikawa scored late to hand Senegal a 1-0 defeat at the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in a Group D match at Estadio Kleber Jose de Andrade in Cariacica, Brazil on Saturday.

It was Senegal’s first loss of the tournament after a 4-1 routing of the United States of America and a 3-1 win over the Netherlands in their other group games.

Saturday’s result did not count much to Senegal’s disadvantage after they had already booked a spot in the knockout round of the tournament with one group game to spare.

As the Teranga Lions cubs looked to complete their group campaign unbeaten, substitute Nishikawa struck with seven minutes to go off an assist by Joel Fujita.

Senegal coach Malick Daf was forced to make a change to his squad after goalkeeper Ousmane Ba was injured and replaced by Pape Dione 29 minutes into the match.

It was a first half in which the Africans did little to unsettle Japan, who dominated proceedings with Keita Nakano, Kaito Suzuki, Kohshiro Sumi and Shoji Toyama proving to be a handful to the Senegal defenders.

Ibrahima Cissoko, however, came close twice in the last five minute of the first half when he had a shot from outside the box blocked and then narrowly missed the target.

Nakano was again a major threat for Senegal after the interval, forcing a save from Dione.

But the West Africans came back a bit improved in this period with Mouhamadou Diaw having an attempt from outside the box saved by Japan goalkeeper Zion Suzuki just after the hour mark.

Nishikwa then decided the contest with seven minutes to go, firing into the bottom left corner after being set up by Fujita.

Samba Diallo tried to hit back for Senegal but had a shot blocked in the 87th minute while Boubacar Diallo shot went just over the bar as Japan held on to the slender lead.

Senegal will now face the team that finishes at the top of Group E in the Round of 16.