Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Colombia's James Rodriguez will not play vs. Japan after calf injury

Colombia's James Rodriguez will not play vs. Japan after calf injury

Shinji Kagawa stepped up for Japan and slotted the ball past keeper David Ospina to take the lead.

Yuya Osako scored a second-half victor as Japan beat 10-man Colombia 2-1 in their opening Group H match at the World Cup finals in Russian Federation on Tuesday.

Osako's gritty determination led to a 73rd-minute header from Keisuke Honda's corner kick that gave Japan three points in Group H.

He will now try to help Colombia overcome the barrier of being down to 10 men after Carlos Sanchez was sent off at 3 minutes.

Colombia equalised six minutes before the interval when Juan Quintero's low free kick squeezed over the line.

Japan held on until the final whistle blew, as they secured a famous upset victory over their Colombian opponents, becoming the first Asian side to beat a team from South America at the World Cup.

Pekerman went to his bench once again to bring on star midfielder James Rodriguez, who has been hampered by a muscular injury, for goalscorer Quintero while Honda replaced Kagawa.

Radamel Falcao is set to lead his side out against Japan on Tuesday afternoon, in what will be his first World Cup game at the age of 32.

"The players hung tough and battled well and this is the result", said Japan head coach Akira Nishino.

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Captain Jon Obi Mikel made 374 appearances for Chelsea from 2006-2017 and winger Victor Moses is a rising star for the London club.

Colombia simply could not get out, and it was no surprise whatsoever when Osako scored what proved to be the victor, heading home a corner taken by the substitute, Keisuke Honda.

Colombia defender Carlos Sanchez Moreno has received the first red card of World Cup 2018 in Russian Federation.

The first red card of the tournament was produced in the opening exchanges, with Sanchez given his marching orders for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity. He almost single-handedly guided Colombia into the championship by scoring six goals in only five games.

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.

Osako with the all-important goal for Japan...

Colombia came out on top 4-1 when these sides last met in a World Cup group match four years ago, but there only looked like being one victor on the basis of the second half.

Shinji Kagawa of Japan celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against Colombia.

Jose Izquierdo 5 - Saw his impact nullified after Colombia went down to ten men, although he could have done better to get in the game.

The stat 1 - Quintero became the first Colombia player in history to score at two World Cups.

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