Japan have become the first Asian side to beat a South American team in World Cup history, with a late Yuya Osako goal enough to clinch an unlikely 2-1 win against heavily-favored Colombia inside Saransk’s Mordovia Arena.
Colombia’s campaign got off to the worst possible start with Carlos Sanchez shown a straight red card for handling a goalbound shot in the area, leaving them with an uphill battle when Shinji Kagawa converted the ensuing penalty.
The South Americans leveled proceedings before the break as a Juan Quintero free-kick squeezed in at the near post. But even James Rodriguez’s introduction wasn’t enough to break down the committed Japanese defense, before Osako’s 73rd minute header from a set piece.
It was Japan’s fifth – and most famous – win in their World Cup chronicles. Below are some of the best Twitterati reactions.
When the second shortest team at the World Cup score a header against you off a corner kick, you seriously need to look at your defending. #COLJPN— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) June 19, 2018
Terrible start to the #WorldCup for Colombia. They will most likely have to beat Poland and Senegal to get out of group stages. Japan should’ve been the easier matchup from the group. Tough road ahead.— Danny Segura (@dannyseguratv) June 19, 2018
Japan 2-1 Colombia. Really happy for them. There was a 6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan this morning. This victory is a fitting gift to all those fans back home. Really great display and so far, my favourite win of the World Cup #JAPCOL #WorldCup #WC2018— Badar Shaikh (@theBadarShaikh) June 19, 2018
That's the first time I've ever seen a referee tell a player to watch something on the big screen... #japcol— Tom Smithies (@SmithiesTele) June 19, 2018
Not to get ahead of time but both japan and columbia deserve to reach the quarter finals, this's some quality football. #JAPCOL— harry styles invented the world cup⚽️🏆🇸🇳🇸🇳🇸 (@jolicoeurharry) June 19, 2018
What goes through your mind to commit such an obvious handball three minutes into your first group game 😅 #JAPCOL— Natasha 🏳️🌈 (@NatashaNUFC) June 19, 2018