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World Cup 2018

Japan goalkeeper Kawashima given vote of confidence despite Senegal mistake

Japan goalkeeper Kawashima given vote of confidence despite Senegal mistake

NICOLAS ASFOURI

AFP

The stopper made a mess of a punched clearance and saw it rebound back of Sadio Mane’s knee for Senegal’s opening goal in the 2-2 draw.

Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima looks set to retain his spot against Poland on Thursday despite his mistake in the 2-2 draw with Senegal.

According to a report by the AFP, the 35-year-old keeper was given a vote of confidence for the final Group H match as he appeared alongside coach Akira Nishino at a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

Reports by the Japanese media, suggested Nishino was considering his goalkeeping options after the Senegal draw, which if Japan had won would have seen them through to the last 16 for the third time in their history.

‘I am grateful for my teammates’ - Kawashima

Kawashima thanked his teammates for rallying round after he made a mess of a punched clearance and saw it rebound back of Sadio Mane´s knee for Senegal’s opening goal.

He promised he would recompense the faith the coach and squad have shown in him as Japan are on the hunt for the point they need to guarantee a last-16 berth against Poland.

‘I am very grateful for my teammates who helped me in the last match, so this time I would like to help them,’ he said.

‘Because I am representing Japan of course I am ready to be criticized. But as a player I would like to improve on what I did in the last match.’

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