Japan beat Colombia 2-1 to earn a historic win for Asia at the World Cup

Japan beat Colombia 2-1 to earn a historic win for Asia at the World Cup

QLSports
By QLSports

Japan became the first Asian side to beat a South American team at the World Cup when they overcame 10-man Colombia 2-1 in a Group H game on Tuesday. 

Before Japan’s famous win, Asian sides had earned 17 draws against South American sides.   

Japan, the four-time Asian champions, made their extra man count after Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez became the first player to get a red card in Russia.

His sending-off in the third minute, for a deliberate handball, was the second fastest in World Cup history after Uruguay’s Jose Batista was dismissed after 55 seconds against Scotland in 1986.

Shinji Kagawa scored from the resulting penalty to give Japan the lead.

Juan Quintero’s clever low free kick in the 39th brought Colombia's equaliser but Yuya Osako leapt above his marker to head a corner into the net for the 73rd-minute winner.

It was sweet revenge for Japan, who were thumped 4-1 by Colombia in Brazil four years ago, but they wasted plenty of chances to kill the game off.

Kagawa went close in the 16th but his shot rolled past the post and Osako fired against the face of goal from a dangerous position in the box.

With Japan dominating in midfield, Colombia’s Argentinian coach Jose Pekerman opted to sacrifice Juan Cuadrado around the half hour mark to send on defensive midfielder Wilmar Barrios.

That gave Colombia extra control and their all-time leading scorer and captain Radamel Falcao came more into the game.

Falcao, making his World Cup debut after missing the last tournament in Brazil due to injury, showed his hunger when he stretched full length to get his foot to an overhead cross but did not have the power to beat the goalkeeper.

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