Carlos Sanchez was shown the second-fastest red card in World Cup history as Colombia slipped to a 2-1 defeat in their World Cup opener against Japan in Mordovia.
The Group H favourites suffered a nightmarish start to their campaign when Sanchez blocked Shinji Kagawa's shot with his arm after just two minutes and 56 seconds, prompting the referee to brandish the first straight red card for handball at a World Cup since Luis Suarez was sent off against Ghana in 2010.
Kagawa then put Japan ahead from the penalty spot but even with 10 men Jose Pekerman was able to make his side competitive and Juan Fernando Quintero levelled with a free-kick six minutes before half-time.
Pekerman brought on 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner 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.
Akira Nishino's men came into the tournament as one of the lowest ranked teams but they defied their position by making good use of their man advantage and fully deserved to have their lead restored when FC Koln forward Yuya Osako headed the winner in the 73rd minute.
Victory over Colombia will give Japan hope of progressing beyond the group stage for the first time since 2010, while Pekerman will hope that James can return to full fitness in time for their forthcoming clash with Poland.
02:56 - Carlos Sanchez's red card after two minutes and 56 seconds is the second fastest shown in World Cup history, after Jose Alberto Batista for Uruguay vs Scotland in 1986 (54 seconds). Handed. #COL #COLJPN #WorldCup— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 19, 2018
The game was less than three minutes old when Sanchez blocked Kagawa's 20-yard shot with his arm and the referee pointed to the penalty spot before showing the midfielder a straight red card.
After lengthy protests, Sanchez eventually left the field and Kagawa was allowed to slot the penalty clinically into the bottom right corner of the net and Colombia's game plan was in tatters.
Despite the double setback, the South Americans attacked and Radamel Falcao got a toe to Quintero's looping pass into the penalty area but could only poke the ball into the arms of veteran Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.
Jose Pekerman shuffled his pack on the half-hour mark, replacing Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado with Boca Juniors midfielder Wilmar Barrios, and an equaliser arrived nine minutes later.
Falcao won a dubious free-kick after a challenge with Makoto Hasebe and Quintero's ensuing free-kick was driven low into the bottom left corner of the net where Kawashima arrived just too late to stop it from crossing the line.
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.
Ospina was called into action again moments later, diving full length to his left to push Takashi Inui's curling 20-yard shot away from danger, before Pekerman sent on James as he sought a way to turn the tide back in favour of his side.
But Japan were dominating possession and their pressure told when substitute Keisuke Honda's corner found Osako, who outjumped his marker and headed the ball into the far corner of the net, beyond Ospina's reach.
James had a sight of goal with 13 minutes remaining but his first-time shot from inside the penalty area was turned over the crossbar by the outstretched leg of Osako, and he will hope to regain full fitness in time to inspire Colombia to better results against Poland and Senegal.
Key Opta Stats:
- Japan have become the first Asian side to defeat South American opposition at the World Cup (P18 W1 D3 L14).
- This is the first World Cup tournament in which as many as four South American teams have failed to win their opening game since 1974.
- None of Colombia's 19 games at the World Cup have ended goalless. The only nations that have played more games in the competition without recording a 0-0 are USA (33) and Austria (29).
- Keisuke Honda is the first player from an Asian nation to provide an assist in three different World Cup tournaments since 1966.
- There have been more direct free-kick goals scored in just 15 games at World Cup 2018 (4) than there were in the entire 2014 edition (3), with Colombia’s Juan Fernando Quintero netting the fourth.
- Quintero became the first player to score in two different World Cup tournaments for Colombia (2014 and 2018).
- Eiji Kawashima (35 years, 91 days) became the oldest player to appear for Japan in a World Cup finals match.
20 de febrero 2019
|Taylor becomes New Zealand´s all-time leading run-scorer in ODIs|
|PSG star Neymar cried for two days after foot injury|
|Klopp: Liverpool´s final pass not good enough|
|Valverde not worried about Suarez drought|
|Kovac not celebrating after holding Liverpool|
|QPR 2 West Brom 3: Livermore seals last-gasp win|
|Riley on LeBron leaving Heat: I saw a dynasty fly out the window|
19 de febrero 2019
|Klopp content with Liverpool´s ´good´ result against Bayern|
|Valverde accepts 0-0 a ´dangerous´ result to take back to Camp Nou|
|Vaughan outlines benefits of home Cricket World Cup for England|
|Three-time champion Tsonga out in Marseille|
|Leclerc impresses to make Ferrari fastest again|
|Van Dijk not missed as patched-up Liverpool stifle Lewandowski|
|Liverpool 0 Bayern Munich 0: Forwards fail to fire in Anfield stalemate|
|Lyon 0 Barcelona 0: Messi off colour as Valverde´s men are held|
|White Sox in ´disbelief´ after Machado reportedly picks Padres|
|Burrell to switch codes and join Warrington|
|Atletico boss Simeone not thinking about Ronaldo|
|Svitolina advances but Osaka is stunned in Dubai|
|Joshua and Miller trade insults at fiery MSG news conference|
|Machado agrees 10-year, $300m deal with Padres - reports|
|Allegri aware Ronaldo gives Juventus Champions League advantage|
|Guardiola labels Bernardo Silva Portugal´s biggest star|
|Khedira out of Juve squad to face Atletico due to irregular heartbeat|
|Manchester City quadruple ´nearly impossible´, says De Bruyne|
|Lovren out of Bayern clash but Firmino included|
|Flipkens withdraws as Larsson is beaten in Budapest|
|100 days to go: Five key questions ahead of the Cricket World Cup|
|It is time to move on - Antonio Brown meets with Steelers owner|
|Reported Milan target Saint-Maximin punished by Nice for missing Angers game|
|Out-of-sorts Osaka upset in first match as number one|
|Sarri´s ´different´ use of Kante a good thing, claims France coach Deschamps|
|Itoje absence confirmed for England´s trip to Wales|
|Ballack expects ´masterful win´ for Man City against Schalke|
|Deschamps salutes resurgent Martial|
|Former Cowboys QB Tony Romo to play Dallas PGA Tour event|
|Halfpenny and Biggar back in training for Wales ahead of England clash|
|Tedesco urges patience with ex-City youngster Matondo|
|Mbappe workload a concern for PSG boss Tuchel|
|Henderson joins Ireland squad for Rome trip|
|Wenger was convinced Ramsey would stay at Arsenal|
|Halep too strong for Bouchard in Dubai|
|Italy captain Parisse to miss Ireland match|
|Philander to miss second Sri Lanka Test with hamstring injury|
|Jesus and Stones absent from Manchester City training|
|Lukaku ready to be versatile for Solskjaer´s Manchester United|
|Dropping Parra & Lopez a sporting decision, insists Brunel|
|24 all out! Oman make unwanted history against Scotland|
|Dybala: Allegri has helped me develop|
|Russell ruled out of France clash|
|Hazard should leave Chelsea for Real Madrid ´to become stronger´|
|RFEF president Rubiales plans Supercopa de Espana revamp|
|Henshaw extends with Ireland and Leinster through to 2022|
|100 days to go: Cricket World Cup takes over Trafalgar Square|
|Bonucci rejected Real Madrid for Juventus return|
|Semenya releases her own list of experts in response to IAAF|
|Ozil might be in Arsenal comfort zone, says Wenger|
|France change half-back pairing for Scotland clash|
|Joshua is going to crack like an egg, predicts Miller|
|Klopp: Critics of powerful Bayern Munich look silly|
|Barcelona planning for post-Messi future - Bartomeu|
|Atletico Madrid v Juventus: 22 goals, three hat-tricks - Ronaldo´s remarkable record against Atleti|
|Schalke v Manchester City: ´Special kid´ Leroy Sane heads back home|
|Lewandowski chasing record, Suarez out to end away rut - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Mata: Pogba showed why he´s one of the best|
|Murray: Playing for Cardinals? That would be nice|
|Favre not worried despite Dortmund´s five-game winless run|
|Pro Piacenza expelled from Serie C after 20-0 humiliation|
|Beal tried recruiting players to Wizards during All-Star break|
|Kyrgios edges ´good mate´ Millman at Delray Beach Open|