With strings of unexpected results coming from this World Cup in Russia, another one strikes as Japan secures a win against Colombia. Japan becomes the first nation from Asia to defeat a South American side and also Japan’s first win in European soil as well. This win against Colombia makes second win for the Asian countries in this world cup after Iran’s victory last week.
After Carlos Sanchez being sent-off, Colombia came back with an equalizer from Juan Quintero but that was not enough to stop the Asian side as they pulled off a late goal through a header which gave their first win in this World Cup European soil. Let’s take a look at the five talking points of the game.
● SECOND FASTEST RED CARD IN WORLD CUP HISTORY:
It was only three minutes into the game and there came the first red card of FIFA World Cup 2018. Carlos Sanchez was sent off having committed a handball to deny a clear goal scoring opportunity. Damir Skomina had nothing to think and pointed to the spot and didn’t require VAR too. This paved way for the first goal of the game when Shinji Kagawa converted it into goal. Previously Uruguay’s Jose Batista received quickest red card in World Cup history when he was sent off on the 1st minute of the game in 1986 after bringing down Scotland’s Gordon Strachan.
● JAPAN SEEKS REVENGE:
Japan came out victorious of their first clash in the World Cup and it is also the second time both these countries were facing each other in the group stages. Japanese would have not forgotten how they were knocked out in last World Cup in Brazil. Colombia thrashed them with a score line of 4-1 which included a brace from Jackson Martinez. That win of Colombia knocked out Japan from the World Cup in early group stages. This game was like Japan playing with all their memories from their last world cup game in front of their eyes and made them pay. Osako’s header won it for the Asian side which came on the 73rd minute of the game. However, Colombia was with 10 men with Carlos Sanchez being sent off and with attacking options taken off.
● JAPAN SHIFTED THEIR GEARS IN THE SECOND HALF:
Japan was gifted with an early penalty by Carlos Sanchez which was taken and converted into goal by Shinji Kagawa. After being reduced to 10-men, Colombians were struggling for an equalizer and won a set piece through skipper Radamel Falcao. Quintero’s goal below the wall was the equalizer which levelled the game. Coach Jose Pekerman was making defensive tactics to his side and Japan didn’t settle in for a draw. Japan kept on pressing in the second half with their pace and hard work paid off as they were rewarded with a goal from Osako. They didn’t panic and controlled the game in their way with composure. The ‘Samurai Blue’ got their first win against a South American side and second win for a Asian side in this mega event.
● COLOMBIA’S LUCKY EQUALIZER:
Colombians got their set piece with 10 men on the field after Skipper Radamel Falcao was brought down and many questions were raised for giving away the free kick to Colombia. Goal Line Technology (GLT) came into play as Eiji Kawashima claimed that he saved it after being deflected into the post from the wall. Juan Quintero took the free kick and placed it below the Samurai Blue wall which got deflected and into the net past Kawashima. Falcao ran into the back of Japanese defender and stayed in the ground until free kick was given towards Colombians favor. Most awaited James Rodriguez was brought in later, who was the star player for Colombians in Brazil. In spite of all these Colombia were on the losing side as they were an another big nation with lot of expectations to face defeat after Germany.
● RADAMEL FALCAO’S DEBUT WORLD CUP GAME:
The 32-year-old AS Monaco striker made his World Cup debut for the Colombians as he was injured during the last World Cup which took place in Brazil. Falcao finally led his boys in this World Cup with a spark which was highly required from him. Although he didn’t score a goal for Colombia, Radamel won a brilliant set piece which gave them the equalizer. Radamel contributed with his attacking abilities inside the box and upfront. He created many chances for the Colombians but it wasn’t enough to stop Japan from pressing and their counters. Skipper’s debut World Cup game ended in a defeat and will be trying to bounce back in a toughly matched group.
■ PLAYER RATINGS:
Arias-5, Sanchez-4, Murillo-5, Mojica-5;
J. Lerma-4, C. Sanchez-2;
J. Cuadrado-5, J. Quintero-6, J. Izquierdo-5;
W. Barrios-4, J. Rodriguez-5, C. Bacca-4;
Y. Nagatomo-7, G. Shoji-, M.Yoshida-6, H. Sakai-6;
M. Hasebe-6, G. Shibasaki-6;
T. Inui-8, S. Kagawa-8, G. Haraguchi-6,
K. Honda-7, S. Okazaki-6, H. Yamaguchi-6;