Japan beat Colombia 2-1 in tough Group H opener

Japan beat Colombia 2-1 in tough Group H opener

- Japan beat Colombia 2-1 during their opening game of Group H match

- Colombia superstar James Rodriguez started the match from the bench due to a lingering calf injury

- As Colombia Carlos Sanchez's red card after two minutes and 56 seconds is the second fastest shown in World Cup history

Japan beat Colombia 2-1 on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 in their World Cup opener in Group H at the ongoing 2018 Fifa World Cup at the Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia.

Japan’s Yuya Osako got the all-important winner in the second half with 17 minutes remaining on the watch, but the South American could not come back as they did in the first half.

The encounter at Saransk saw Colombia superstar, James Rodriguez named on the bench due to a lingering calf injury, but that did not stop the South Americans taking the early initiative.

The Asian representatives on the other hand, could barely touch the ball as the Colombians were looking very comfortable in possession.

However, on the 4th minute Yuya Osako changed the situation for Japan following a fast break, but his effort failed to beat Ospina in a one-on-one situation.

Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa followed Osako early attempt with another shot at goal but his effort was blocked by the arm of Carlos Sanchez.

Japan beat Colombia 2-1 in tough Group H opener

Colombia's Carlos Sanchez sent off by Referee Damir Skomina during their tough Group H opener against Japan on Tuesday Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Centre referee, Damir Skomina did not need the VAR before sending Sanchez off as well as pointing to the spot.

Japan’s Germany-based Kagawa stepped-out and converted coolly from the spot after waiting for Ospina to commit himself before rolling the ball the other way.

On the 12th minute mark, Colombia’s Falacao had a great chance to level scores after a free-kick was floated into the Japan area, but the Monaco’s star got a touch on the stretch, but that was not enough to guide the ball past Kawashima in Japan goal.

Four minutes later, Japan’s Takashi Inui was played into space on the left side of the box. Sadly, he could only curl his first-time shot well off target leaving scores at 1-0 in favour of the Asians.

With the game heading towards the half–hour mark, Juventus forward, Cuadrado earned his side a corner kick.

Although, the initial cross did not yield any dividend, the Japanese failed to clear their lines, thus granting an opportunity for Cuadrado to attempt a shot at goal.

However, after missing out of goal scoring opportunities, the 10-man Colombia side were rewarded on the 39th minute when Juan Quintero, converted a free-kick by slipping the ball under Japan’s defence wall into the bottom corner.

Kawashima’s attempted to scramble the ball to safety but it was too late as it has already crossed the line.

Interestingly, Carlos Sanchez's red card after two minutes and 56 seconds entered the history books as the second fastest shown in World Cup history, after Jose Alberto Batista for Uruguay vs Scotland in 1986.

Source: Briefly.co.za

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