Japan 2-1 Colombia
6’: Kagawa (Jap, penalty)
39’: Quintero (Col, Free kick)
73’: Osako (Jap)
GROUP H preview: The group is wide open with three competitive sides while Japan might struggle to match up to their opponents in this edition.
7: 39 pm: The Poland v Senegal game will be starting soon and we have our live blog up for that as well. Join us for the second game of Group H HERE.
That’s it from us on this blog.
7:30 pm: We’ll leave you with the moment that truly decided the game though.
7:28 pm: Japan did what they had too and will now have a different kind of confidence when they take the field against Poland and Senegal. Having three points in the bag is a huge boost.
FT: No Asian team had beaten a South American opponent in 17 matches at the World Cup. Japan have changed that today. The red card helped but they still played smartly especially in the second half. Luck is always part of the equation.
90’: We will be having five minutes of time added on. Colombia running on empty though.
87’: Big day for Honda indeed, what say?
85’: Okazaki comes on for Osako, who scored through that header to give Japan the lead.
84’: Colombia are chasing the ball now. Japan. playing some very smart football. They need to keep it simple. Keep possession and Colombia won’t have a chance.
78’: The goal means that Colombia will now have to push forward. They don’t have an option now. Poland and Senegal are tricky opponents. They would have looked at this game for points but they now need at least something out of it. A lovely back heel almost let Rodriguez through. But wonderful defence kept him out.
73’: GOAAAAL! Osako header gets the goal. Perfect header from a delightfully floated up corner (Honda’s work)... into the goal off the post. Unstoppable. Just reward for a good spell of football.
69’: Kagawa off for Keisuke Honda. This should spark the attack. Change for Colombia too. Bacca, who plays for Villareal, comes on for Izquierdo.
66’: Nice build-up led to a corner for Japan. The pressure on the Colombia goal is growing by the minute. Nothing came out of the corner but the game is now being played almost exlcusively in Colombia’s half.
61’: Colombia’s tactics are clear now. They are sitting back and looking for a draw but will still be on the lookout for a quick counter. Falcao and Rodrigues will be relied upon for some magic.
59’: Quintero (the goalscorer for Colombia) is off and Rodriguez comes on to a huge cheer. The start of the 2014 World Cup with 6 goals is on the pitch now.
57’: Another decent effort by Japan. This time, Inui takes a shot at goal and forces another good save from Ospina. This is how it should have been all along. But the Blue Samurai allowed the Colombians back into the game.
54’: Poor defending from Sanchez and that allowed Osako to take a shot at goal. Ospina was alert but it still meant a corner for Japan, who have dominated possession since the second half got underway. It was 51% at the break and it has already climbed to 56%.
49’: Corner for Japan. Slightly better play but still no real rhythm. They need Kagawa to get involved a lot more at the moment.
46’: No HT subs. But Japan will need to make a tactical adjustment. They have to make that one more man on the field count; make Colombia run themselves into the ground.
HT: Carlos Sanchez’s handball seems like it happened in another game. But we are almost set for the start of the second half.
45 + 1’: HT! A very interesting half. Red card, penalty, fight back, magnificent free kick. End of it all, the score stands at 1-1. Colombia still have the option of bringing out James for a short cameo in the second half but they will need to keep up the tempo till then. That is easier said than done with 10 men. Japan, though, needed to take the game to the Colombians but they were happy to sit back and defend (a tactic which would have made sense if they were down to 10 men).
See that free kick once more!
39’: GOAAAAAALLLL!!! Falcao earned his team another free kick in a dangerous position with some smart thinking. Just outside the Japanese penalty area. Quintero’s free kick was outstanding. The wall jumped and he snuck in the shot under it and surprised everyone. Colombia are back. They have equalised. Smart, smart play.
34’: Falcao with another chance. Beautiful chip over the top by Quintero. Lovely weight on it but the Japanese goalkeeper stood firm. The last three teams that have gone down to 10-men in the World Cup – HAVE NOT LOST. Two draws and one win. That is one stat for half-time.
31’: Barrios, a defensive midfielder, comes on for Cuadrado, their most experienced player.
28’: Both these teams are in their sixth World Cup finals – sixth in a row for Japan. But the Asian side needs to play the possession game and make Colombia chase the ball now. Colombia getting ready to make a tactical substitution.
25’: The Blue Samurai are being pushed back by the spirit of the Colombians. Despite being down to 10 men, the Colombians have seen a decent amount of the ball.
21’: Colombia are going forward well but fatigue will catch up soon enough. It will take a toll. Sanchez should have just let that go into the goal. Colombia has enough quality to recover from a goal down but recovering from a goal down with 10 men just takes the difficulty level up a few notches.
14’: Wonderful ball by Kagawa, wasted by Inui. The final shot lacked direct and power. It was very poor. A good opportunity goes abegging.
11’: With Colombia down to 10 men, Colombia will be stretched in the later stages. They will need to strike back early and Falcao almost did that. He got his foot to a nice ball from a free kick but the Japanese keeper was alert the chance.
6’: Shinji Kagawa was entrusted with the penalty and he scores! He took it so calmly. Saw the referee move to his right and slotted it straight down the middle. Easy does it. What drama! This was also the second quickest red card in World Cup history.
3’: Penalty and a red card for a deliberate hand ball. That was going straight in and the arm was in an unnatural position. Carlos Sanchez is off! First red card of this World Cup and the 9th penalty. Massive blow for Colombia.
1’: Radamel Falcao is playing his 1st World Cup game , with his 74th cap (29 goals). This must be a good, good feeling.
5:29 pm: National anthems done. Toss done. It’s time for some football. Can Colombia reproduce the form that made them the darlings of the 2014 World Cup?
5:06 pm: And what is a World Cup without fans?
5:03 pm: None of Colombia’s previous 18 games at the World Cup have ended 0-0. Only USA (33) and Austria (29) have played more without a goalless draw at the competition. Even without Rodriguez, they will continue to push forward.
4:42 pm: Rodrigues fails to make it back to full fitness in time. The calf strain has still not healed enough to let him play. But Colombia still have enough quality in their line-up.
4:41 pm: Starting line-ups are here!
4:38 pm: Japan wrapped up Russia qualification in style thanks to Yosuke Ideguchi’s thunderous finish against Australia. Keep an eye on Maya Yoshida, A cultured and stylish centre-back, has been one of the cornerstones of Japan’s team over two FIFA World Cup campaigns.
4:37 pm: Colombia finished fourth in the CONMEBOL standings for Russia 2018 qualifying after reaching the tournament on the final matchday with a 1-1 draw in Peru.
4:25 pm: In a recent interview, former coach Troussier suggested Japan have no chance of reaching the knockout stage after sacking Vahid Halilhodzic in April.
‘Even if they play with Mourinho or Wenger, it would be difficult for Japan to get to the last 16,’ he said.
Read the full report HERE
4:18 pm: No Asian team has beaten a South American opponent in 17 matches at the World Cup. The head-to-head series stands at 14 victories and 3 draws in the favour of the CONMEBOL representatives. Can Japan change that?
4:15 pm: Hello and welcome to day six of the Fifa World Cup in Russia. It’s Tueday and 2014 quarter-finalists Colombia will decide as late as possible whether to start James Rodriguez in their opening World Cup clash against Japan on Tuesday as the 2014 top-scorer labours with a calf strain.
The Bayern Munich forward, whose six goals left him topping the scoring charts in Brazil, trained with Colombia in Saransk on Monday.
After briefly combining with striker Falcao on the pitch at the Mordovia Arena, Rodriguez sat out part of the final session. Colombia will decide as late as possible whether to start Rodriguez in their opening World Cup clash against Japan on Tuesday as the 2014 top-scorer labours with a calf strain.
After briefly combining with striker Falcao on the pitch at the Mordovia Arena, Rodriguez sat out part of the final session.