Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Twitter Reacts as Japan Beat Colombia to Create World Cup History

Twitter Reacts as Japan Beat Colombia to Create World Cup History

The 2-1 victory over Colombia on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time) was another surprising result in an unpredictable tournament.

Sanchez's sending off is also the second-fastest in World Cup history, after Uruguay's Jose Batista, who was sent off within a minute of his side's clash with Scotland in 1986.

Shinji Kagawa of Japan celebrates scoring his team's first goal from the penalty spot with Yuya Osako and Takashi Inui.

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.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Colombians leveled from a dubiously awarded free kick late in the first half, Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima unable to prevent Juan Quintero's shot under the wall from creeping over the line.

Yuya Osako's 73rd-minute victor was a huge relief for the Japanese, who were thumped 4-1 by Colombia four years ago during a miserable campaign in which they failed to register a single win.

"He played well in Germany this season", Honda said of the Werder Bremen forward. "I'm happy he scored".

Japan became the latest side to pull off an upset at the World Cup, joining Mexico, Switzerland and Iceland in earning surprising results. The win was a surprise also because Japan changed coaches shortly before the tournament, and because Asian teams had failed to beat South American opposition in 17 previous World Cup meetings.

Kagawa converted the resultant penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal to give Japan the lead.

Colombia had to play with 10 men for the rest of the match against Japan's eleven. Los Cafeteros were made to suffer by their opponents in the second half, however, and having endured the toughest of starts Falcao and Co now have to ponder their approach to their next two matches.

Sanchez is a key figure at Tottenham and established himself in Mauricio Pochettino's first team this past season, making 29 starts in the Premier League and playing in eight Champions League matches.

Tottenham defender Sanchez featured for Colombia in their opening World Cup Group H match against Japan on Monday afternoon.

Japan break and Davinson Sanchez lets the ball bounce, allowing Osako to hustle him out of it and run in on goal. "This is just one win and three points, so we will save our celebration".

Japan wasn't going to be an easy win for Colombia in Group H of the World Cup.

"We did not want to be always defensive", he said.

After a frantic first half, the game slowed in the second but Osako burst into the Colombia box and drew a save from David Ospina with a tricky close-range shot that the Arsenal goalkeeper parried away. Incidentally there have been more direct free-kick goals scored in just 15 games at this World Cup than there were in the entire 2014 edition.

"From the start I thought we could be very aggressive and of course we had the advantage of more players", Nishino told reporters.

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