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Highlights, Colombia vs Japan, FIFA World Cup 2018, Match 15 in Saransk: Japan stun ten-man Colombia

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Highlights, Colombia vs Japan, FIFA World Cup 2018, Match 15 in Saransk: Japan stun ten-man Colombia
  • 19:45 (IST)

    So that's all we have in this coverage. Hope you have enjoyed our blog. Remember, we will be back again at 10:30 pm for the Russia vs Egypt match. Hopefully, that will be as entertaining as the Colombia vs Japan tie.

    Also, the match will also see the return of Mohamed Salah. 

  • 19:36 (IST)

    He was exceptional for his team! 

  • Japan have created a piece of World Cup history here – the emotions apparent on the faces of the Japanese players as well as those of their supporters. There was nothing fortunate about this triumph. Japan had to fight for every inch of space even after the dramatic events in the opening five minutes, for Colombia presented a brave challenge in spite of playing almost the entire game with ten men. It may have been a more even contest in the first half, but Japan clearly dominated the proceedings across the entire spectrum of the pitch in the second half. Already remarked as the ‘Group of Death’, this result will further spice things up as it continues to be the World Cup of the underdogs – after Iran, Mexico and Switzerland’s successful opening outings, Japan has caused a small upset at Saransk and Colombia must regroup quickly to recover from today’s happenstances.

  • 19:26 (IST)


  • 19:24 (IST)


    Fair to say, it's a historic win for Japan. They played with grit and determination, especially in the second-half and scored the vital goal to take lead. Their defending was top-notch throughout the match. Colombia, on the other hand, lost the plot in early minutes of the match by conceding a bad penalty. They equalised but couldn't prevent Japan from scoring. 

  • 89' COL 1-2 JPN

    An Asian nation has never beaten a Latin American side in seventeen previous World Cup fixtures. Japan are on the brink of history here. Colombia, having run relentlessly in the first half, look spent as Japan continue to control the game.

  • 80' COL 1-2 JPN

    Osako with a fantastic contribution on the other end now, blocking James Rodriguez's goal bound shot following a cute back heel flick from Lerma. The goal seems to have finally woken up Colombia who are looking to do more with the ball now, rather than giving it away loosely in their own half.

  • 19:07 (IST)

    78' COL 1-2 JPN

    What a chance for James Rodriguez but a terrific piece of defending from Osako keeps Colombia from equalising. 

  • 77' COL 1-2 JPN

    Japan kept the pedal on the gas and have now reaped the rewards as they take the lead for the second time tonight. Following a number of swift exchange of passes on the right flank, Osako with the goal to his back, linked up with Sakai in the six-yard box, the latter’s shot just deflected wide. The resulting corner finally allowed Japan to show something for their 73% possession in the second half as Osako leaped above every one to direct the ball into the far corner of the net.

  • 19:04 (IST)

    Skandha: it's hard to see a way back for Colombia now that they've conceded. They'd defended resolutely while a man down, but there was no stopping that goal. As Colombia become more desperate, they may begin to leave more spaces for the Japanese to exploit. The Colombians still deserve credit for staying in it though.

  • 19:02 (IST)

    GOAL !

    73' COL 1-2 JPN

    Japan lead with a fantastic Osako header. It was a perfect corner by Honda and Osako makes no mistake in finding the net. A well-deserved goal for Japan who have been a better team in the second-half. 

  • 18:58 (IST)

    68' COL 1-1 JPN

    Change for Japan. Goalscorer Kagawa goes out and in comes Honda.

    For Colombia, Izquierdo makes way for Bacca. 

  • 65’ COL 1-1 JPN

    Gaku Shibasaki has been the difference for Japan in this half – involved in every intricate passage of play, releasing the ball at will, finding his teammates in more threatening positions and intercepting play when necessary. This has been a top notch display from the Getafe central midfielder who hasn’t allowed Colombia to get a foothold into this second half.

  • 18:55 (IST)

    Arnav: Inui has been the pick of the Japanese attackers in the second half. He's intelligent, inventive and incisive, and the source of much of Japan's best work

  • 60' COL 1-1 JPN

    Japan are controlling the tempo, orchestrating attacks and look the more dangerous side in spite of their wastefulness and  Ospina's resilience. Jose Pekerman has reacted to the proceedings by bringing on James Rodriguez and the Bayern Munich star receives elated adulation from scores of Colombian supporters on entry.

  • 18:48 (IST)

    Skandha: Ospina gets a lot of criticism for not being commanding enough in the penalty area. But when it comes to reflexes, he's one of the best out there. Some good saves from him

  • 18:47 (IST)

    59' COL 1-1 JPN

    Big substitution for Colombia. James Rodriguez replaces Quintero.  

  • 18:46 (IST)

    57' COL 1-1 JPN

    Yet another good save by Ospina. Inui makes the run into the box and unleashes a powerful right-footer but Ospina was up to the task.  

  • 55' COL 1-1 JPN

    Some more abysmal defending from Davinson Sanchez, as Osaka turns past him and manages to get a shot off, only for Ospina to thwart it away. The Spurs youngster has struggled spectacularly tonight, allowing the Japanese to go behind him on repeated occasions and sooner rather than later, it could cost Colombia again.

  • 18:43 (IST)

    53' COL 1-1 JPN

    Top save by David Ospina. Colombia defenders allowed Osaka to get into the box but his shot couldn't find the net thanks to Ospina.  

  • 52' - COL 1-1 JPN

    Japan have been on the front foot since play restarted, trying to outnumber the Colombians in their penalty area. But barring a corner and an unsuccessful aerial challenge from a long ball, the Japanese have so far struggled to get past the swarm of yellow shirts.

  • 18:39 (IST)

    Arnav: Conceding a goal appears to have woken up a Japanese side that had become a bit sluggish. They have started the second half quite brightly 

  • 18:35 (IST)

    Arnav: I'm pleasantly surprised by how entertaining this contest is. Colombia were made to push forward as a result of being a man and goal down within six minutes. That Carlos Sanchez red card reminded me of Luis Suarez in the quarter final against Ghana back in 2010. Both sides seem to be looking to play long balls, which perplexes me. I predict each side to score another goal, leading to a 2-2 draw.

  • 18:33 (IST)

    Second-half is underway, COL 1-1 JPN

    Colombia are inspired after finding the equaliser. Will they clinch the match? That would be some story.  

  • It is all square at Saransk after an entertaining first half which had every bit of sporting drama – from an early red card to a clever goalscoring free-kick. Colombia are expected to grow stronger in the second half and Japan must contend with more pressure on their goalmouth than they did in the first half. Will we get to see a glimpse of James Rodriguez? It remains to be seen whether the playmaker is risked tonight but either way, a cracker of a second half is expected.

  • 18:26 (IST)

    The half-time stats! 

  • 18:21 (IST)

    Half-time! COL 1-1 JPN

    Wow! Some intense football for first 45 minutes. Colombia found the equaliser with the help of Quintero's free-kick but replays showed that it wasn't a foul at first place. VAR again failed to make a correct decision. This happened yesterday with England when VAR didn't help when it came to two close penalty incidents.  

  • 43' COL 1-1 JPN

    Colombia have equalised and the sea of yellow at the Mordovia Arena has gone berserk. Quintero orchestrated a clever free-kick, shooting it straight down the ground as the wall of Japanese defenders jumped up. Kawashima protested that the ball had not crossed the line, but goalline technology has proved that the Japanese custodian failed to keep it out. Supporters of Japan would be livid though, for the causal free-kick won by Falcao was a dubious one and could have very well been awarded to the Asian nation.

  • 18:12 (IST)

    GOAL !


    A clever low free-kick by Quintero brings Colombia back into the game. Japan goalkeeper just left it too late to save it. 

  • COL 0-1 JPN

    Colombia’s best chance of the night goes begging as Quintero lofted a splendid ball into the box for Falcao but the Colombian captain could only toe-poke the ball into Eiji Kawashima’s hands. Colombia are getting closer to that equaliser, but Japan are equally likely to get that crucial second goal as this Colombian defence has been guilty of occasionally switching off.

  • Surprise substitution! 

    A surprise early substitution for Colombia as Juan Cuadrado makes way for the more defensive-minded Barrios. Japan shows no signs of slowing down, however, as Ospina is almost caught out on two quick consecutive occasions – Osaka shooting wide in the first instance and Japan winning a corner on the second.

  • 18:06 (IST)

    34' COL 0-1 JPN

    Colombia captain Falco goes close to find an equaliser with his stretched right foot only for the goalkeeper to catch it rather comfortably.   

  • COL 0-1 JPN

    Colombia are already throwing the kitchen-sink at Japan – an excellent cross from the left flank almost finds Cuadrado but is cleared with a last-ditch effort from Shoji. Colombia have responded perfectly to going a man down and are trying their best to stretch the defensive lines of Japan, but the Asian nation doesn’t seem too concerned with Colombia’s better possession stats.

  • 18:02 (IST)

    To put it into perspective, this was the first red card of the tournament. 

  • 18:01 (IST)

    Carlos Sanchez earned an unwanted record to his name

  • 17:59 (IST)

    27' COL 0-1 JPN

    Despite playing with 10 men, Colombia have not reduced the intensity. They are in fact are dominating the possession and trying desperately for the equaliser. Japan should be careful here with their strategy. There's still time so they should try to play more positive game. 

  • 17:54 (IST)

    I doubt it, though

  • 18’ COL 0-1 JPN

    This is end-to-end stuff here in Saransk. Japan could have doubled their lead after Kagawa dissected the depleted Colombian defence with a sublime pass only for Takashi Inui to shoot wide. Colombia immediately countered on the other end but the final ball was too deep for Falcao. Quintero has started to influence the proceedings picking up Cuadrado and Izquierdo down the wide channels with precise passes, but Falcao remains isolated upfront.

  • 17:47 (IST)

    Second quickest red card in World Cup finals!

  • 14' COL 0-1 JPN

    Colombia seem rattled not only by the marching orders, but also due to Japan’s energetic pressing of the ball in advanced positions. The Asian country, meanwhile has dealt calmly with Colombia’s aerial offerings.

  • 17:44 (IST)

    12' COL 0-1 JPN

    Will Colombia bounce back from early setback? It's going to be very tough now considering they have to to play a long time with ten men. Japan will now focus on defending and making things difficult for their opponents. 

  • A terrible, terrible start for Colombia

    And the first red card of the FIFA World Cup has arrived – Carlos Sanchez is sent off for a deliberate handball. Colombia were hogging possession in the early exchanges but a long clearance from Japan saw Davinson Sanchez lose the ball to Osaka whose shot is denied well by David Ospina. The rebound fell upon Shinji Kagawa whose shot was clearly blocked by Carlos Sanchez’s extended right arm.

    In spite of meagre protests from the Colombian players, the referee’s decision is crystal clear and Kagawa puts Japan in the lead with a tranquil penalty kick, sending Ospina in the wrong direction.

  • 17:37 (IST)

    GOAL !

    6' GOAL! COL 0-1 JPN

    Shinji Kagawa makes no mistake from the spot. He sends Ospina to the wrong side and Japan have a dream start.

  • 17:35 (IST)

    RED CARD !

    4' RED CARD and penalty for Japan!

    What a start to the game. Carlos Sanchez has been sent off for a clear handball in the box. 

  • Colombia to line up in a 4-2-3-1 

    The teams are out for national anthems at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk where Colombia take on Japan in the first Group H fixture. Japan finished as winners in their group in the third round of the AFC qualifiers while Colombia barely scraped through the CONMEBOL qualifiers to make it to Russia.

    The big news ahead of the game is that James Rodriguez has failed his late fitness test, forcing Colombia to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation without him, but that doesn’t make them any less favorites for this fixture. Japan are lining up in a similar formation and would love to avoid a repeat of the punishment the Latin American side handed out to them in the previous edition of the World Cup.

  • 17:31 (IST)

    Kick-off! COL 0-0 JPN

    It's the first match of the Group H. Both teams will look to start on a winning note. 

  • 17:28 (IST)

    Will Earthquake in back home disrupt Japan's performance against Colombia? 

    Japan coach Akira Nishino admitted in pre-match press conference that Sunday’s 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Osaka did upset the players. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members,” Nishino said. 

    Personally, don't think players' performance will be affected by the earthquake. We are talking about professional players here. A win against Colombia will definitely lift the spirit of the entire country.

  • 17:12 (IST)

    The colourful mascot! 

  • 17:10 (IST)

    Kagawa aim to make difference 

    Japan will hope that their player Shinji Kagawa will come up good against Colombia. The former Manchester United player has been in good form of late and his tussle with Colombia and Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez will be the one to look out for. 

  • 17:04 (IST)

    Stat alert! 

Preview: Colombia will not take struggling Asian giants Japan for granted when the two sides meet in their World Cup opener in Saransk, Seville striker Luis Muriel said Sunday.

"Los Cafeteros" are aiming to top their run to the quarter-finals in Brazil four years ago with a talented side rich with the attacking talents of captain Radamel Falcao, Bayern Munich star James Rodriguez and Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado.

 Highlights, Colombia vs Japan, FIFA World Cup 2018, Match 15 in Saransk: Japan stun ten-man Colombia

Japan became first Asian nation to beat a South American team at the World Cup. AP

Japan are under huge pressure to perform after a string of underwhelming displays in the weeks leading up to the tournament, during which unpopular Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodzic was replaced by Akira Nishino.

The "Blue Samurai" will also be mindful of their 4-1 trouncing to Colombia four years ago, which capped a winless group campaign and sent Jose Pekerman's men on their way to the last eight -- their best-ever performance at a World Cup.

Colombia are widely tipped for a repeat performance at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk, but Muriel says nothing will be taken for granted.

"First of all, Colombia won't underestimate any of our rivals because that would be a big mistake," Muriel told reporters in Kazan.

"Concentration is fundamental if we are to stay on track and maintain confidence in our plan for the tournament.

"Japan are good passers of the ball and they are quick at transforming from defence to attack and vice versa. We have to counter this by playing quickly and regrouping in defence when we lose possession. "

Bayern star James, who won the Golden Boot in Brazil, gave fans cause for concern earlier this week after he was reduced to gym work due to muscle fatigue in his right calf.

But he is tipped to be ready for Colombia's opener and Muriel believes the South Americans can better their showing in Brazil.

"A successful World Cup for us would be surpassing what we achieved in Brazil. We want to go much further because this squad has what it takes," said the 27-year-old, hoping to make his World Cup debut.

"But we'll be taking it match by match. We can't afford to look any further ahead because we would lose the essence of what we are.

"We're focusing only on Japan and then we'll think about what comes next."

With inputs from AFP

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Updated Date: Jun 19, 2018 19:45:47 IST

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