It was the first time a team from Asia defeated a South American team in the World Cup. When the two sides played each other in 2014, Colombia destroyed the Japanese, 4-1.
Colombia was marred with the first issued red card of the tournament three minutes into the match as Carlos Sanchez was sent off for a handball in the penalty area. Shinji Kagawa capitalized on the penalty to put Japan up 1-0.
Japan take the lead, Shinji Kagawa converts penalty (6th minute) after a foul from Carlos Sanchez inside the box. Sanchez sent off. pic.twitter.com/tBRnB4yQ57— VINYLRECORDSEINO (@seino_hseino) June 19, 2018
#Japan 1 - 0 #Colombia#FIFAWorldCup#Worldcup#日本代表#daihyo#ワールドカップ
Despite playing with 10 men, Colombia made a run throughout the first half, unleashing an offensive barrage as Radamel Falcao drilled a shot in the 12th minute, but Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima was able to scoop away the danger.
Japan nearly doubled their lead when Kagawa located Takashi Inui left of goal, but his delivery went wide of both Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina and the goal.
Later in the first half, Juan Quintero leveled the match in the 38th minute. Quintero delivered a ball from a free kick just under the hands of Kawashima who was unable to collect the ball until it had already cross the line.
In the second half, it was Japan who stepped up their attack.
Both Yoshida and Hiroki Sakai had failed attempts at goal early in the half and Inui drilled a shot on goal that was blocked out by the Colombian defense.
Finally, in the 73rd minute, Yuya Osako became the hero for Japan after heading home a deflection into the back of the net to give Japan the win.
Japan re-takes the lead thanks to a header from Osako! pic.twitter.com/y9HnWhl7iI— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 19, 2018
Japan now sits atop Group H and will take on Senegal at 11 a.m. Monday.
Colombia went down a man early and Japan took advantage.— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) June 19, 2018
Watch the highlights in our 90' in 90" pic.twitter.com/UGPSvgF3Go
Nagatomo is currently in the news as Turkish side Galatasaray are seeking to make his midseason loan permanent. Presently, the two sides are unable to agree on a final price for the Japanese international.
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