Colombia took on Japan in the first FIFA World Cup game for Group H at the Mordovia Arena.
Many are hoping for Colombia’s campaign to reflect that of the 2014 World Cup with the likes of Juan Cuadrado, Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez dominating World football.
Japan’s main man Shinji Kagawa hopes to lead his team far in the tournament.
The opening minutes of the game was marred with controversy as we witnessed the first red card in the cup.
Japan were on the attack with Kagawa coming close to converting a a goal-bound shot.
However, as his shot was heading in the net, Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez forced his right hand into the play.
The referee awarded a penalty to the visitors and Sanchez was sent off, making the game difficult for Colombia despite giving the right decision.
GOAL – Shinji Kagawa (PEN) – 6th Minute – Colombia 0-1 Japan
With the South Americans down to 10 men, Kagawa slots in a penalty gently past David Ospina.
In response to conceding early in the game, Colombia went wild pushing forward with their pace.
Despite this, Kagawa managed to get a couple more solid chances for the Samurai Blue.
Half an hour into the match, Cuadrado had been subbed off for Wilmar Barrios as Juan Fernando Quintero took his place on the right wing.
GOAL – Juan Fernando Quintero – 38th Minute – Colombia 1-1 Japan
The man on the wing amused when taking a set piece.
Colombia were awarded a free kick a few yards away from the Japan box.
Quintero stepped up to take a hard and low shot that didn’t leave the ground as the wall jumped up.
Japan goalie Eiji Kawashima saved the ball initially, but it was already over the goal line.
Despite protests from the visiting players, goal line technology decided the equaliser.
The half ended level with Los Cafeteros looking to break the lock.
After speculation that he was out due to a calve injury, the 2014 World Cup wonder kid Rodriguez came on for Quintero.
The home side were hoping to bolster the attack with the Bayern midfielder at their side.
However, Japan surprisingly were looking the stronger side.
With countless amount of chances, the Samurais were failing to get the ball into the net either through bad shots or Ospina’s saves.
GOAL – Yuya Osako – 73rd Minute – Colombia 1-2 Japan
Keisuke Honda takes the corner for Japan less than 20 minutes into the game.
The ball finally met the head of Yuya Osako who beat the keeper to hit the back of the net.
The men in blue go wild as they shock the Colombian supporters in the stands.
In frustration Colombia increased their attacking spirit but were getting nowhere even with star player James Rodriguez on the field.
Japan were still making successful runs but it was evident that their players were tired on the ball.
An added five minutes simply wasn’t enough as Japan won the match.
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