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Sunday 18 November 2018

Japan shock for Colombia

Group H: Colombia 1 Japan 2

Yuya Osako
Yuya Osako

Colombia's Carlos Sanchez became the first player to be sent off at the 2018 World Cup as Japan secured an entertaining 2-1 win in Saransk yesterday.

The former Aston Villa midfielder was dismissed after just four minutes in the Group H opener for deliberate handball and Shinji Kagawa made no mistake with the resulting penalty.

Colombia equalised shortly before half-time through Juan Quintero's free-kick, but Japan dominated the second half and were good value for Yuya Osako's late winner.

James Rodriguez - who finished the 2014 tournament as top scorer - was left out of Colombia's starting XI due to a muscle injury and the South American side quickly found themselves facing an uphill task.

The first red card of the tournament was produced in the opening exchanges, with Sanchez given his marching orders for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Late on, Hiroki Sakai had a chance that was deflected wide, but from the resulting corner Keisuke Honda's delivery was headed in by Osako.

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