Samurai Blue cruise to a 2-1 win, their first victory against Colombia and also South American sides in the history with early Kagawa penalty and Osako free-kick in World Cup Group H opener at Mordovia Arena.
2018 World Cup
3′ Red Card! Carlos Sánchez sent off
Carlos Sánchez (Colombia) is shown the red card.
6′ Penalty Goal! Colombia 0-1 Japan (Kagawa)
Goal! Colombia 0, Japan 1. Shinji Kagawa (Japan) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.
30′ Cuadrado goes off as Colombia make early sub
33′ CHANCE! Falcao’s shot saved
39′ GOAL! Colombia 1-1 Japan (J. Quintero)
Goal! Colombia 1, Japan 1. Juan Quintero (Colombia) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.
53′ Fine stop from Ospina
55′ Another decent save from Ospina!
57′ Finally! James Rodriguez subs on
73′ GOAL! Colombia 1-2 Japan (Y. Ōsako)
Goal! Colombia 1, Japan 2. Yuya Osako (Japan) header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Keisuke Honda with a cross following a corner.
77′ James close-range effort is blocked by Osako!
Carlos Sanchez was shown the second-fastest red card in World Cup history as Colombia slipped to a 2-1 defeat in their World Cup opener against Japan in Mordovia.
The Group H favourites suffered a nightmarish start to their campaign when Sanchez blocked Shinji Kagawa’s shot with his arm after just two minutes and 56 seconds, prompting the referee to brandish the first straight red card for handball at a World Cup since Luis Suarez was sent off against Ghana in 2010.
Kagawa then put Japan ahead from the penalty spot but even with 10 men Jose Pekerman was able to make his side competitive and Juan Quintero levelled with a free-kick six minutes before half-time.
Pekerman brought on 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez in the second half but the Bayern Munich star, not fully recovered from a calf injury, was not allowed much of the ball by a disciplined, energetic Japan side.
Akira Nishino’s men came into the tournament as one of the lowest ranked teams but they defied their position by making good use of their man advantage and fully deserved to have their lead restored when FC Koln forward Yuya Osako headed the winner in the 73rd minute.
Victory over Colombia will give Japan hope of progressing beyond the group stage for the first time since 2010, while Pekerman will hope that James can return to full fitness in time for their forthcoming clash with Poland.
Colombia XI: Carlos Sánchez, Radamel Falcao, David Ospina, Juan Cuadrado, Óscar Murillo, Juan Quintero, Santiago Arias, José Izquierdo, Johan Mojica, Jefferson Lerma, Davinson Sánchez
Subs: Cristián Zapata, Abel Aguilar, José Cuadrado, Camilo Vargas, Farid Díaz, James Rodríguez, Carlos Bacca, Luis Muriel, Miguel Borja, Mateus Uribe, Wilmar Barrios, Yerry Mina
Japan XI: Makoto Hasebe, Takashi Inui, Eiji Kawashima, Maya Yoshida, Shinji Kagawa, Yuto Nagatomo, Yuya Osako, Genki Haraguchi, Hiroki Sakai, Gaku Shibasaki, Gen Shoji
Subs: Tomoaki Makino, Shinji Okazaki, Keisuke Honda, Masaaki Higashiguchi, Gotoku Sakai, Takashi Usami, Hotaru Yamaguchi, Wataru Endo, Yoshinori Muto, Ryota Oshima, Kosuke Nakamura, Naomichi Ueda