By Izuchukwu Okosi


Ten man Colombia, on Tuesday were handed a 2-1 defeat by Asian giants Japan in the first Group H match of the 2018 World Cup.

Defender Carlos Sanchez was red-carded for stopping a goal bound shot with his right arm.

Shinji Kagawa placed the spot down the middle as David Ospina dived to the left hand side.

The sixth minute goal stood that way for the entirety of the first half.

No Asian team have beaten a South American side in seventeen World Cup matches prior to this match.

Kagawa placed a fine pass onto the path of Takashi Unui in the 15th minute but the latter’s shot rolled out for goal kick. Kagawa himself was poised to hit a shot but quickly blocked as he got set to pull the trigger.

Colombia equalised through Juan Quinterro whose freekick went under the feet of the jumping defenders on the Japanese wall.

The Japanese scored their decisive second goal through Yuya Osako with a fine header that beat flat footed Ospina.