West Ham’s Cheikhou Kouyate was a second half substitute as Senegal kept their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the World Cup alive with a 2-2 draw with Japan.
Kouyate replaced Alfred N’Diaye with 25 minutes to play as substitute Keisuke Honda’s late strike secured Japan a point, keeping them at the top of group H with one match remaining.
Senegal took the lead on the 11 minute mark in fortuitous fashion as Japan’s Eiji Kawashima could only punch his clearance into Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and the ball trickled past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Japan would equalise ten minutes before half-time as good work from Yuti Nagatamo down the left created space for Takashi Inui, who cut in and sent a low curling effort past Khadim N’Diaye.
Yuya Osaka then squandered a great chance, before Inui was inches away from putting Japan in front when his clipped effort struck the bar.
Japan would be punished for those missed chances as Senegal retook the lead with 20 minutes to play as the onrushing Moussa Wague rifled the ball into the roof of the net after M’baye Niang’s lay-off.
But the Lions of Teranga were unable to hang on, as poor defending allowed Honda to tap into an empty net to secure Japan a point.
Senegal will now take on Columbia in a huge match in group H on Thursday, with the winner progressing to the knockout stages of the World Cup.