Japan beat Colombia 2-1 in World Cup Group H opener

Japan beat 10-man Colombia 2-1 in the opening match in World Cup Group H on Tuesday, taking advantage of an early red card for midfielder Carlos Sanchez.

Japan beat 10-man Colombia 2-1 in their opening Group H match on Tuesday, the first time an Asian team has overcome a South American one at the World Cup.

Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez was sent off in the third minute for deliberate handball – the second fastest red card in World Cup history.

Shinji Kagawa gave Japan the lead from the penalty spot after Sanchez handled the ball. Juan Quintero brought Colombia level as half-time approached but Yuya Osako grabbed the winner in the second period.

Colombia attacking midfielder James Rodriguez, who was left out of the starting line-up due to muscle pain, replaced Quintero in the 59th minute but failed to change the course of the match.

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