Senegal wasted a golden opportunity to book their place in the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 when they drew with Japan on Sunday.
After beating a very poor Poland side in their opening game of the tournament, Senegal squandered a fantastic chance to book their place in the Round of 16 when they allowed Japan to come from behind twice to claim a point.
Six points would have sealed Senegal’s spot in the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup and Sadio Mané says while his international teammates are disappointed by the result, they are looking forward to a shot at redemption against Colombia.
Thursday brings the final match of Group H and the chance for Mané to lead his nation to the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Speaking after the match, the Senegal skipper said: “Frankly speaking we’re all disappointed and that’s normal, because there was a way to win this match,” Mane said after Senegal surrendered two leads.
“We started the game well. We scored, then they equalised, and it was the same thing in the second-half.
“So we now have a decisive match to try to qualify. We’re going to try to prepare really well to qualify, because that’s the only thing for us left to do.
“Honestly, we’re all disappointed, because there was a chance to win the match and we didn’t do it but we can’t underestimate Japan.
“They played well and managed to create quite a lot of opportunities, scoring twice. We shared a point, it’s important to have that point, and we have a decisive game coming up.
“We have to manage this and take away the positive points in order to qualify for the last 16.”
After Juan Quintero and James Rodriguez guided Colombia to a win over Poland, Senegal will need to be on top form on Thursday to ensure that they are the team to progress to the Round of 16.
Japan face Poland but after two poor displays from the Poles, neither Colombia nor Senegal can count on them to get a result and help them into the next round.