Japan on Tuesday registered a comfortable 2-1 win against 10-man Colombia in their opening Group H encounter of the tournament. Shinji Kagawa and Yuya Osako scored in the sixth and 72nd minute respectively to help Japan go pass their tough Colombian opponents. Although Colombia came up with an Juan Quintero’s equalizer in the 39th minute but the 10-man Colombian side could not hold Japan from scoring in the second half. James Rodriguez, who started on the bench came in at 58th minute for Colombia, but could not find the net. Earlier, in the first half, down to 10 men with six minutes into the game, Colombia came back strongly to level Japan 1-1. Intelligent free kick from Juan Quintero helped Colombia level after Carlos Sanchez was shown the red card in the 4th minute of the game for handling the ball inside the box. Kagawa netted the ball with ease and Japan were with the lead in the opening minutes of the game. But Colombians continued to attack with 10 players and put the Japanese under pressure. Earlier, James Rodriguez was left out of Colombia's starting line-up for their opening World Cup match against Japan on Tuesday as the Brazil 2014 top scorer laboured with a calf strain. The Bayern Munich star started on the bench at the Mordovia Arena with Juan Quintero of River Plate filling Rodriguez's attacking midfield role for the south Americans.(Highlights: Colombia vs Japan)
Highlights of 2018 FIFA World Cup, Colombia vs Japan match straight from Mordovia Arena, Russia
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Final Scoreline: JAP 2-1 COL
19:23 IST: FULL TIME! Japan have done it. they have defeated Colombia 2-1 in their opening match of the tournament.
Key stats from #COLJPN:— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 19, 2018
The first #WorldCup victory for a team from @theafcdotcom against a South American nation
Yuyo Osaka's goal was the eighth headed goal at the 2018 FIFA #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/qLTFkwsiJM
19:21 IST: 90+4 minutes! Japanese fans are all set to celebrate. We are seconds away from whistle!
19:19 IST: 90+2 minutes! Its now or never for Colombia. Rodriguez charges in but brilliant defense from Japan
19:17 IST: 90 minutes are up. 5 minutes of added time.
19:13 IST: Five minutes to go into stoppage time. A 10-man Colombian side is finding it really hard to score.
19:09 IST: Substitution! Yamaguchi is in to replace Shibasaki for Japan.
19:04 IST: 77th minute: What a Miss from James Rodriguez. Hits straight to goalkeeper as he pushes the ball over the post.
19:00 IST: 72nd Minute: GOAL! Perfect header from a perfect corner. Japan are again in the lead with brilliant header from Yuya Osako. JAP 2-1 COL
18:56 IST: 68th minute: SUBSTITUTIONS for both teams! Honda comes in to replace Kagawa for Japan While Bacca comes in for Colombia to replace Izquierdo
18:52 IST: 63rd minute: Barrios in with an ugly tackle and its a yellow card for him.
18:49 IST: 60th minute: Adventurous run from Sakai but there is no one to tap-in cross. Scores still level at 1-1.
18:46 IST: 58th minute: SUBSTITUTION for Colombia! James Rodriguez replaces Colombian goalscorer Quintero.
18:44 IST: 56th minute. Another opportunity another miss from Japan. They are just not finding the net.
18:40 IST: 53rd minute. Brilliant passing from the Japanese at the centre but its another miss. Straight into the hands of the Colombian goalkeeper.
18:37 IST: Corner for Japan in the 49th minute. No trouble fot the 10-man Colombia. Scores still level at 1-1.
18:33 IST: SECOND HALF BEGINS!
18:17 IST: HALF TIME! Colombia 1-1 Japan
Key stats from #COLJPN so far:— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 19, 2018
@juanferquinte10 is the first player to net a goal for #COL at multiple World Cups.
@carlossanchez6 red card (3:14) is the second fastest red card in #WorldCup history after Jose Batista (55 sec) for #URU in 1986. pic.twitter.com/82CBP0jzdo
18:15 IST: 45 minutes are up. 1 minute of added time.
18:09 IST: GOAL! Colombia have equalized in the 39th minute. Juan Quintero with a brilliant free-kick, puts the ball in. Absolutely brilliant from 10-man Colombian team. COL 1-1 JAP
18:08 IST: Falcao earns his team a free kick from just outside the box.
18:05 IST: 33rd minute! Skipper Falcao goes aerial again but MISSES!
18:04 IST: Another corner for Japan. CLEARED!
18:02 IST: Substitution for Colombia. Cuadrado walks back to the dugout. Wilmar Barrios replaces him. Japan still lead Colombia 1-0.
18:00 IST: 30 minutes are up. It has been Japan's game till now. Goal in the first six minutes and Colombia are down to 10 men.
17:56 IST: Corner for Colombia but cleared by the Japanese defense.
17:54 IST: Corner for Japan in the 23rd minute but no worries for the goalkeeper. Ball has been cleared by the Colombian defense.
17:45 IST: 15 minutes into the game. Chances galore in Saransk! Kagawa has a golden opportunity to double Japan's lead but gets his shot from inside the box all wrong. End to end stuff!
17:40 IST: Down to 10 men, Colombia are counter attacking. Brilliant touch from skipper Falcao but the ball goes straight into the hands of Japanese goalkeeper.
17:37 IST: That was the second quickest Red card in World Cup history
17:36 IST: GOAL! Dream start for Japan. Number 10 Kagawa puts it easily into the net. JAP 1-0 COL in the 6th minute of the game.
17:34 IST: RED CARD within 4 minutes of the game. Carlos Sanches handles the ball inside the box. Its a penalty for Japan. First red card of World Cup 2018.
17:30 IST: KICK OFF! Japan gets the game underway.
17:27 IST: Handshakes all around. Thrilling atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena.
17:24 IST: Both teams are at the centre along with the match officials for the national anthems. We are minutes away from kick-off.
17:15 IST: Oscar Murillo and Johan Mojica are all set to make their World Cup debuts for Colombia.
16:55 IST: Excited Colombian fans have arrived. All geared up for the team's opening encounter.
Keep an eye out for "El Cole" amongst the crowd at #COLJPN— FIFA Museum (@FIFAMuseum) June 19, 2018
Gustavo Llanos has become an unofficial mascot for his team, donning colourful
costumes to represent Colombia's national symbol - the condor.
In our collection we have one of his hats from the 2014 #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/otLCcOfoD5
16:45 IST: Formation for both the teams is as follows
16:40 IST: Big News! James Rodriguez is on the bench. Juan Quintero replaces the Colombian star in starting XI.
16:35 IST: Starting XI for both the teams announced!
16:30 IST: Both teams have arrived at the Mordovia Arena.
16:05 IST: Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the Group H match between Colombo and Japan.
Colombia are sweating on the fitness of star midfielder James Rodriguez. The top-scorer at Brazil 2014 is a doubt for his team's opener after struggling with a strain in his left calf. The Bayern Munich attacking midfielder is key to Colombia's chances of repeating their run to the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil. James, 26, netted six goals and created four assists to help Colombia qualify for Russia, while midfielder Wilmar Barrios is also battling to be fit. Colombia are unbeaten this year after seeing off France 3-2 in March before goalless draws against fellow World Cup contenders Egypt and Australia.
Colombia: David Ospina; Santiago Arias, Yerry Mina, Davinson Sanchez, Johan Mojica; Abel Aguilar, Carlos Sanchez, Juan Cuadrado, James Rodriguez; Luis Muriel, Radamel Falcao.
Japan: Eiji Kawashima; Hiroki Sakai, Maya Yoshida, Tomoaki Makino, Yuto Nagatomo; Makoto Hasebe, Gaku Shibasaki, Genki Haraguchi, Keisuke Honda, Takashi Inui; Yuya Osako.