James Rodriguez injury: Why is Colombia star missing for Japan clash? | Daily Star
20 June, 2018, 00:36
The referee was quick to send off Sanchez, awarding a penalty to Japan which was converted by Kagawa.
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.
Japan took a shock lead when Shinji Kagawa netted the resulting penalty before Juan Quintero equalised with a free-kick for Colombia to make it 1-1 at half-time.
Japan had the first chance on the counter, and had their wildest dreams come true as their shot on goal was stopped by the arm of Carlos Sanchez.
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Pekerman brought on 2014 World Cup Golden Boot victor James Rodriguez in the second half but the Bayern Munich star, not fully recovered from a calf injury, was not allowed much of the ball by a disciplined, energetic Japan side. The victory marks the first time an Asian team has beaten a South American team in a World Cup match.
"The players hung tough and battled well and this is the result", said Japan head coach Akira Nishino.
Colombia paid the price for Japan's dominance in the 73rd minute when Osako rose highest in the area to head home a Honda corner and put his side back into the lead.
An intelligent flick forward by Kagawa saw Osako force his way past Davinson Sanchez and race through on goal.
But it it didn't hinder the game from immediate fireworks as the first red card of Russian Federation 2018 was in the third minute when midfielder Carlos Sanchez produced a professional foul.
After months of planning and preparation, manager Jose Pekerman could not have anticipated Carlos Sanchez becoming the first ever player to be sent off for Colombia at a World Cup finals.
But it was apparent within minutes, when Sanchez got the red card, that the rematch would not go so smoothly for the Colombians.
In what what was a frantic opening, Colombia responded in positive fashion with Radamel Falcao going close in the 12th minute when he got on the end of a Quintero free-kick, only to be denied by Kawashima in the Japangoal.
Juan Fernando Quintero will start for James, who is technically available from the bench, against Japan.
Hiroki Sakai should have restored Japan's lead when his low cross from the right was played back to him by Osako, only for the full-back to drill the ball at Oscar Murillo, with the deflection taking the effort wide.
Japan also felt Rodriguez's wrath in that World Cup, as he inspired Colombia to a 4-1 win in the group stages after entering the game as a substitute.
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