Japan will look to respond and take advantage of Colombia in the second half, while Colombia still have 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez who can come in and instantly change the game. The Colombian hits it under the wall and sneaks it into the near post to equalize vs Japan. Those of you blindly bashing Neymar for his failures in Brazil's 1-1 draw against Switzerland, check this out: Neymar was fouled 10 times, the most in a World Cup match since Alan Shearer suffered at the hands and boots of Tunisians in 1998, and the most a Brazilian was made to endure since Pele in 1966. Four years later, they're loaded and poised to make another run. In the match, Japan looked the more dominant side with 10 more shots, but couldn't find a way to get past David Ospina, who starts in goal tonight.
The first match of Group H kicks-off with Colombia vs Japan. There is a lot of talk around James Rodriguez's fitness but let's just take some time out to appreciate the fact that today, we finally get to see Radamel Falcao in the World Cup. Rodriguez had been struggling to leave a mark on the game, with Japan at last making their extra man count and dominating possession as might be expected, but there would be one big chance late on. Sakai 7 , Yoshida 7 , Shibasaki 6 , Haraguchi 6 , Kagawa 7 , Inui 7 , Hasebe 6 , Osako 8. He was surrounded by mayhem but when the whistle goes off, he jogs towards the ball, stops a little and Ospina dives to the right. Keep moving, get the positioning advantage, to deprive the Colombian front players of their stamina. That Colombia were able to drag themselves back into the game relied on neither of their two big stars.
There were questions over the sacking of manager Vahid Halilhodzic in April, despite the Bosnian having lost only twice during qualifying, but Nishino and his players now have something to build on. Colombia now look to bounce back when they take on Poland, while Japan will face Senegal on June 24th. Colombia's preparations have been less tumultuous aside from a few injury scares and Abel Aguilar is certain he knows how their group rivals are going to play against them. Kagawa slots home the penalty to give Japan the early lead after Carlos Sanchez's handball in the box! Four years ago, Japan met Colombia in the final group outing knowing it still had a chance of reaching the knockout phase, but was crushed 4-1 by the South Americans. Mahoto Hasebe was his assailant both times.
Sanchez's handball just in the third minute gave Japan a penalty kick that Shinji Kagawa put away with calmness. We were hoping to start with a victory. Don't miss a moment of the World Cup! The striker is joining Bundesliga outfit Werder Bemen from Cologne this summer, and having caused Davinson Sanchez plenty of problems all afternoon, they will be happy to have already got that piece of business over the line. In fact, only the United States 33 and Austria 29 have played more games in the competition without ever registering a 0-0. As it turned out, any victory that day in Cuiaba would have sent the Samurai Blue through at the expense of Greece. Free kick and Quintero rolls the ball underneath the wall as soon as it jumps. But an injury forced him to sit out the entire tournament.
Colombia conceded a penalty and had a man sent off inside three minutes, with Carlos Sanchez dismissed for handling Shinji Kagawa's shot at a goal left exposed by terrible defending. Colombia it is who are stroking the ball around at the back, sensibly favouring the bit of the pitch that is sunny. Poland and Senegal are not teams that bring too many famous names to your minds El-Hadji Diouf does not count and so, it is safe to say that Robert Lewandowski and Sadio Mane have reached heights that few, if any, of their fellow countrymen have in the world of football. Japan re-takes the lead thanks to a header from Osako! Nishino said he and players found out about the earthquake shortly after it happened because an alarm went off at the team hotel in Saransk and blared for about 15 minutes around the same time as the earthquake struck. Sanchez 3 , Cuadrado 5 , Lerma 5 , Quintero 6 , Izquierdo 5 , Falcao 6. Now, he has examined Colombia vs. Colombia fan before the match.
The squad compiled a 7-6-5 record while posting just two victories in their final nine outings, and needed a 1-1 draw with Peru in their final qualifying match to earn a berth at Russia 2018. Everything you can expect in a football match and all of it has come in one half. Colombia defeat could be crucial At least Carlos Sanchez, now of Espanyol, will not take first place in the history books. Wilmar Barrios, a defensive midfielder, comes on. Subs: Higashiguchi, Nakamura, Ueda, Honda, Endo, Okazaki, Usami, Muto, Yamaguchi, Oshima, Makino, Gotoku Sakai. After the first red card shown at this World Cup - and the second fastest in history at two minutes 56 seconds - Kagawa scored the spot-kick.
Cheeky free kick from Quintero! As cool as they come from Shinji Kagawa! Carlos Sanchez was handed the first red card of this summer's tournament - and the second quickest in World Cup history - after deliberately handling a goal-bound shot in the third minute of the game. Colombia: Ospina, Arias, Murillo, Davinson Sanchez, Mojica, Lerma, Carlos Sanchez, Cuadrado, Quintero, Izquierdo, Falcao. Japan closed out their pre-tournament friendly schedule with a 4-2 win over Paraguay as +230 underdogs on June 12. Colombia, with star James Rodriguez starting the match on the bench, fell 2-1 to an inspired and ambitious Japan team. Or does it end in a draw? He gathers, checks inside and tries to bend it into the corner.
However, a 10 men Colombia responded very well, getting Juan Cuadrado and Juan Quintero loose on the wings but were unable to find the back of the net. Referee: Damir Skomina Slovenia Colombia: Ospina, Arias, Murillo, Davinson Sanchez, Mojica, Lerma, Carlos Sanchez, Cuadrado, Quintero, Izquierdo, Falcao. It finishes 2-1 to Japan! Japan will be happy to get the three points and getting revenge on a team that beat them 4-1 in the 2014 World Cup. No foul for the first one. Both players make their respective benches, but it remains to be seen if they are fit enough to have any part in the game. And Eiji Kawashima, who let those four goals in, says it is time to for Japan to make amends, with retribution on the team's mind ahead of the meeting in Saransk.
Japan players with Osaka ties include goalkeeper Masaaki Higashigushi and midfielder Hotaru Yamaguchi, who play professionally in Osaka, while attacking midfielder Keisuke Honda was born in the area. Freed into space after a clever backheel, Rodriguez's blistering strike from inside the box was deflected over the bar by a brave lunge from Osako. And there's the full-time whistle! There are exceptions, including its best player, Borussia Dortmund's Shinki Kagawa. You know what this means, right? It took advantage of its opportunities and the team is now in great shape to make the round of 16. It was the second-quickest red card in World Cup history. Japan bureau chief at Reuters.