Japan players celebrate their victory after overcoming Colombia 2-1 Credit: FIFA Media

2018 FIFA World Cup (Group H):

  • Colombia 1-2 Japan
[/media-credit] Japan players celebrate their victory after overcoming Colombia 2-1 Credit: FIFA Media

Japan became the first ever Asian country to overcame a South American country at the FIFA World Cup when they defeated a 10 man Colombian outfit 2-1 at the Mordovia Arena during a group H encounter played on Tuesday in Russia.

Shinji Kagawa converted a calmly taken penalty kick six minutes into the first half following a deliberate handball by Carlos Sanchez Moreno who was sent off in the third minute.

Moreno’s red card after 176 seconds was the second fastest red card ever in the history of the FIFA World Cup since Jose Alberto Batista’s sending off for Uruguay after 54 seconds in 1986.

The South Americans rallied and fought gallantly as they leveled the game in the 39th minute through Juan Fernando Quintero.

Credit: FIFA Media

Juan Fernando Quintero’s equalizer that clearly crossed the line

Japan and Colombia fans at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia Credit: FIFA Media

Half time ended tied at one goal apiece.

Yuya Osako headed home the winner 17 minutes to full time, diverting Keisuke Honda’s teasing corner kick.

This was the first World Cup tournament in which as many as four South American countries failed to win their opening match since 1974.

This was also Japan’s first win ever over any South American country at the FIFA World Cup.

Japan is now joint top with African country Senegal who out muscled Poland 2-1 in the other group game that followed later.

The Japanese will now face Senegal on Sunday at the Ekaterinburg Arena as Poland will play Colombia during the other match on the same day in Kazan.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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