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Early penalty helps Japan beat Colombia 2-1 at World Cup

Early penalty helps Japan beat Colombia 2-1 at World Cup”

Shinji Kagawa stepped up, sent David Ospina the wrong way, and slotted home the penalty.

But Japan finally made their extra man count when Osako, who was a constant menace to the Colombia defence, leapt highest from a corner and guided his header in off the post with 17 minutes to go.

Japan: Kawashima (6), Shoji (6), Nagatomo (7), H. Sakai (7), Yoshida (7), Shibasaki (6), Haraguchi (6), Kagawa (7), Inui (7), Hasebe (6), Osako (8).

Not just the second-fastest goal of the tournament, the game which squared off on a dramatic note, also saw the second fastest red card in World Cup history.

Pekerman again looked to the bench in the 59th minute, introducing talisman James Rodriguez as Colombia struggled to create anything significant going forward.

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Japan, meanwhile, left Shinji Okazaki out of the starting lineup because of a right calf strain, with Yuya Osako starting in his place.

Shinji Kagawa scored the resulting penalty to put Japan 1-0 up in the sixth minute, but Juan Quintero equalised with a low free kick which squeezed over the line shortly before halftime.

Another alternative to watch Japan vs Colombia is to try out the FuboTV 7-day free trial.

But Japan were dominating possession and their pressure told when substitute Keisuke Honda's corner found Osako, who outjumped his marker and headed the ball into the far corner of the net, beyond Ospina's reach.

Red card costs Colombia as Japan tip over the 2014 Fifa World Cup quarterfinalists. They can also hope Japan wins out, which seems like a bit of a long shot considering how much difficulty they had putting away a man-down Colombia team.

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Japan did what no other Asian team had ever done at a World Cup - beat a South American squad on the biggest stage in football. The only nations that have played more games in the competition without recording a nil-nil are US (33) and Austria (29).

Despite being a man down the Colombians continued to press and were rewarded with an equalizer six minutes before the break as Quintero sent a free-kick from just outside the area under the leaping Japanese wall.

Osako's 73rd-minute victor means the Japanese avenged their 4-1 mauling in the group stages of Brazil 2014 as Colombia played with a man down for 86 minutes in Saransk.

The referee had no hesitation in showing a straight red to the Colombia midfielder and, from the resultant penalty, Kagawa kept his goal in stroking a shot straight down the middle.

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