Kagawa, Osaka help Japan down Colombia

Doug Mendoza
June 24, 2018

Despite being the first Asian team to defeat a South American side, the supporters of the blue samurai did not go overboard.

Thirteen players joined the practice at Sviyaga stadium, west of the city of Kazan, Efe news agency reported. "I think the simple fact of still being alive in the World Cup gives us the emotional drive for our two remaining matches".

Up next, Colombia is set to face Poland on June 24, which was also handed a stunning loss Tuesday by Senegal 2-1 in their 2018 World Cup opener.

Group H also features Poland and Senegal and is one of the more open of the tournament.

The Colombians bitterly protested but Kagawa drilled home the spot kick to put Japan ahead in the sixth minute.

In central midfield, Pekerman hopes that playmaker James Rodriguez, who came on as a second-half substitute, will be fit enough to start against Poland in Group H. The Bayern Munich player, who was the top scorer at the 2014 tournament, has been suffering from a left calf injury in recent days.

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Japan's second goal was the first they'd ever scored from a corner in 18 World Cup matches.

Sanchez did not speak to reporters after the match.

"To score a goal for me in World Cup has been a dream", Osako said. It was a risky decision that restrained Colombia's attacking play down the wings and isolated forward Radamel Falcao. "We treat the question of security for our guests and their belongings very seriously and immediately informed the police", she said in an email. "Perhaps we won't make as many mistakes as we did before, because we all know this is a match that will determine who will continue in the World Cup".

The complexion of the game in Saransk was changed radically when Colombia's Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red card of Russian Federation 2018 for handball in the opening minutes of the contest.

MOSCOW - It was a day of upsets in an underdog-friendly World Cup. Pekerman is being forced to shuffle his defensive midfielders, since Carlos Sanchez picked up an early red card and is banned for the second match.

Akira Nishino was only appointed as Japan coach in April, replacing Vahid Halilhodzic during a tumultuous build-up to their World Cup campaign.

Other reports by GizPress

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