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Japan take sweet revenge on Colombia

June 20, 2018 00:00:00


Japan's midfielder Shinji Kagawa celebrating after scoring their first goal on a penalty during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group H football match against Colombia at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk on Tuesday — AFP

SARANSK, Russia, June 19 (Reuters): Japan beat 10-man Colombia 2-1 in Group H on Tuesday to become the first Asian side to beat a South American one at the World Cup.

Asian teams had managed three draws in 17 matches against South American sides but the four-times Asian champions made their extra man count after Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez became the first player to get a red card in Russia. Shinji Kagawa scored from the resulting penalty to give Japan the lead.

Juan Quintero's clever low free kick in the 39th minute brought Colombia's equaliser but Yuya Osako leapt above his marker to head a corner into the net for the 73rd-minute winner.

It was a sweet revenge for Japan, who were thumped 4-1 by Colombia in Brazil four years ago, but they wasted plenty of chances to kill the game off.

Kagawa went close in the 16th minute but his shot rolled past the post and Osako fired against the face of goal from a dangerous position in the box.

With Japan dominating in midfield, Colombia's Argentine coach Jose Pekerman opted to sacrifice Juan Cuadrado around the half hour mark to send on defensive midfielder Wilmar Barrios.

That gave Colombia extra control and their all-time leading scorer and captain Radamel Falcao came more into the game.


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NLI1STMF 12.3 12.6 12.6 12.6 2.439%
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CAPMIBBLMF 9.7 10.1 9.2 9.2 5.4348%
AIBL1STIMF 7.0 7.0 6.7 6.7 4.4776%
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PF1STMF 5.6 5.6 5.4 5.4 3.7037%
VAMLBDMF1 8.5 8.6 8.2 8.2 3.6585%
NTC 569.0 575.6 550.0 550.0 3.4545%
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INTECH 60.5 60.5 54.5 54.5 -9.9174%
JANATAINS 15.0 14.6 13.5 13.7 -8.6667%
OIMEX 46.8 47.2 42.2 43.0 -8.1197%
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KDSALTD 62.8 62.0 57.3 58.0 -7.6433%
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