Colombia’s ambition to repeat their 2014 success in winning all of their World Cup group games fell short as they suffered their first defeat during this year’s tournament from Japan.
Being considered as the favorite to take all three points from their opening group game, Jose Pekerman’s side had an awful start as they found themselves down to 10 men and conceding a spot kick after just three minutes in.
Carlos Sanchez was the men receiving that red card after he was spotted handling Shinji Kagawa’s goal bound shot, a rash decision making that the midfielder will certainly regret.
Kagawa eventually converted the penalty expertly, giving his team a 1-0 goal lead just before the 10 minutes mark.
Losing 1-0 and a man down didn’t reduce Colombia’s spirit as they kept on pushing forward in search for an equalizing goal, which they eventually got on 39 minutes from Juan Quintero’s smart free kick.
After the break, Japan improved their game and started to dominate proceedings, taking full advantage over their one player advantage.
The Blue Samurai’s dominance finally paid off as they regained their lead on 73 minutes, this time from Yuya Osako’s close range header.
That goal proved to be decisive as neither teams were able to score more in the remaining minutes as that match ended in a 2-1 win for the Asian representative.