Colombia Gets Early Red Card, Loses To Japan 2-1 In World Cup Opener
Colombia’s participation in the World Cup got off to a rough start on Tuesday after the Latin American team fell to Japan 2-1 in Saransk in both teams’ opening game.
Japan Beats Colombia 2-1 In FIFA World Cup Opener
Colombia had already been missing star Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez, who is recovering from a leg injury.
Just six minutes into Tuesday’s matchup, Colombia lost Carlos Sanchez to a red card after the midfielder used his hand to block a shot on goal from Shinji Kagawa. Just before that, Japan had taken another shot that goalie David Ospina had saved.
Japan was thus awarded a penalty and Kagawa successfully converted it to put the Asian nation up 1-0, as Colombia was left to play with 10 men for the rest of the contest.
Colombia attacked mightily for the rest of the first half and eventually tied it 1-1 in the 39th minute. After forward Radamel Falcao was fouled, Colombia earned a free kick and Juan Quintero fired a low shot that rolled into the corner of the net.
Then in the second half, with about 30 minutes remaining in the game, Rodriguez entered but the Japanese took the lead again.
Substitute Keisuke Honda took a corner kick in the 73rd minute and Yuya Osako jumped to head the ball off the post and into the goal.
Colombia were the heavy favorites to win, which means Japan’s big upset is now the second in this FIFA World Cup in Russia. Mexico defeated defending champions Germany 1-0 on Sunday in both teams’ opening game.
Japan leads group H with 3 points, and the other two teams in that group — Poland and Senegal — will face off later on Tuesday. Russia and Egypt will also play on Tuesday afternoon.
England beat Tunisia 2-1 on Monday in both teams’ opener after a goal from captain Harry Kane in second-half injury time. Kane also scored England’s first goal 11 minutes into the contest.
Japan is playing in its sixth consecutive World Cup, and has reached the second round only twice: in 2002, when they co-hosted the tournament with South Korea, and in 2010.