Japan and Senegal the two teams from Group H would be meeting on Sunday, June 24 at the Ekaterinburg stadium by 4 pm.
History of Japan and Senegal
The time that the Senegal national football team officially began to function was after the country got her independence on 4 April 1960 from France. It was at this time that the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) was founded.
The Senegal national football team is popularly known with the nickname “the Lions of Teranga.” This team represents Senegal at international football competitions, and it is under the leadership of theFédérationSénégalaise de Football (FSF).
The Japan national football team is recorded to gradually begin after Lieutenant-Commander Archibald L. Douglas was posted to Japan as the head of a Royal Navy mission. It was at that time when he began to teach his cadets how to play soccer as a pastime.
Then in 1921, officially, the Japan Football Association which is the body in charge of football in Japan, was founded. Under this governing body is the Japan national football team which representsJapan in association football internationally.
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Appearances at FIFA World Cup Tournaments
The Senegalese soccer squad became a part of the FIFA body in 1962 as well as a member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF)in 1963. However, this football team could not participate in any FIFA World Cup until 2002 when they made their first appearance.
But then, at this time of their appearance, they made an outstanding achievement as a result of them defeating the World and European champions France in a 1–0 game at the opening game of the tournament.
The Japanese football team made their first appearance at the FIFA World Cup in 1998. Even though they could not go beyond the group stage, they finished in the 31st position. But then, they have made several efforts to make an appearance in the past but failed. For example, while they did not enter in the 1930 and 1934 editions of the world tournament, they withdrew in the 1942 edition because of the World War I. Between 1970 and 1994, the soccer squad could not go beyond the qualifying stage.
However, the Summer Olympics game organized in 1968 at Mexico City was a remarkable period in the history of this soccer squad as far as their appearances at international soccer competition are concerned. The reason is that it was at this tournament that they got their first ever bronze medal.
Tracing their history to their appearances at their continental tournaments, the participation of the Senegal national football team at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament began in 1965. It was at this tournament that the national team had a match against Ivory Coast and got defeated in a 1-0 game. As a result of this, the team finished in the fourth place.
Apart from this, in another appearance they made again at the Africa Cup of Nations in 1990, Senegal yet again ended up in the fourth place.
And on the part of Japan, apart from their qualification for the 2018 World Cup, out of the fourteen attempts that they have made, they only appeared in five FIFA World Cup tournaments. And out of these appearances, the highest level the team has gotten to so far is the round of sixteen which were in 2002 and 2010.
The Japanese football team is said to be the only team that would participate in the Copa América from outside the Americas. They got their invitations in 1999 as well as in 2011 to participate in the noble tournament.
Apart from this, since the time that they have been making appearances at the AFC Asian Cup tournaments, the soccer squad of Japan has continuously made appearances until date. And an amazing thing is that out of eight appearances that they have made, they have won the cup on four different occasions. These were in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011. But in 2007, the team finished in the fourth place.
Senegaleseholds a record of being the third national soccer squad to reach the quarter-finals stage of the FIFA World Cup among the African soccer teams. This, they were able to do, at the 2002 World Cup tournament. The other soccer squads that have made it to this stage are only Cameroon and Ghana which happened in 1990 and 2010 respectively.
At the international level, Japan won the Bronze Medal during the Olympic Games in 1968 and then emerged as the runners-up during the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2001.
Senegal has so far finished, in the top five of many of the Africa Cup of Nations they have played. They also remain a record breaker as they have emerged as champions eight different times during the regional soccer competitions organized for West African nations known as Amilcar Cabral Cup.
Honorary Titles and Awards
Japan has gotten some individual awards like the Japan Professional Sports Grand Prize in 2002 and the AFC National Team of the Year five different times which are in 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2011.
Apart from being the champions of the Amilcar Cabral Cup at eight different times, Senegal has also emerged as the runners-up on five occasions which are in 1982, 1993, 1997, 2000, and 2005. And again, the team was also the runners-up of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2002.
FIFA World Ranking
According to the FIFA World Ranking of soccer squads released on 17 May 2018, while the soccer squad of Senegal ranked 27th, the Japanese team ranked 61st in the world.