FIFA World Cup 2018: Colombia vs. Japan (Everything about the Match)

 

This is the 15th match in the FIFA World Cup 2018 currently ongoing in Russia.

Tuesday, June 19
Colombia will take on Japan in the Group H round at 1 p.m. BST/8 a.m. ET

Match played at Mordovia Arena, Russia.

Commentary

___Score: Colombia 1 2 Japan____



90′ + 4′ Japan are moments away from what would be their first-ever victory over Colombia – or indeed any South American side!
90′ + 3′ Yellow card Eiji Kawashima

90′ + 3′ Inui, who has done so much positive work going forward, gets back well now to put in an excellent challenge on the marauding Arias.
90′ + 2′ Colombia have everyone forward and Japan have everyone back now. Can they cling on for three more minutes? Murillo launches the ball forward but Kawashima is able to cling on. Poor ball there.
90′ + 1′ There will be FIVE minutes added on here. Can Colombia salvage something from this game?
90′ A dangerous cross from the left is only headed as far out as Arias, who puts the ball back into the box for Rodriguez, and he tries a headed one-two with Falcao, but the striker is offside and the ball was intercepted anyway.
89′ Mojica surges forward well from left-back, but has to settle for a throw after being denied a free-kick when he was barged to the floor.
88′ Colombia eventually get themselves back on the ball as they win a throw in, and immediately look to hit Falcao, but the ball in behind is cut out and Japan begin to recycle possession again.

86′ Yellow card James David Rodríguez Rubio
85′ Osako, who has made a real nuisance of himself today, is replaced by Okazaki, the first-choice striker whose limited involvement today came courtesy of a calf complaint.
84′ Japan are controlling the game very well here, keeping hold of the ball with safe passes and moving it around well rather than just sitting back and inviting pressure. Excellent game-management. Colombia look spent, but is there a moment of magic left in them?
82′ Sakai gets forward well and lofts a cross in towards Osako, but this time, he can’t direct his header anywhere near the target under close attention from Davinson Sanchez.
80′ Shibasaki makes way for Yamaguchi as Nishino looks to preserve his side’s precious lead.
79′ CHANCE! The ball is lofted to the back post towards Bacca and Rodriguez, but neither can make much contact on the ball and Kawashima clings on gratefully!
78′ CHANCE! Rodriguez finds himself with a golden chance to snatch an equaliser, but Osako – of all people – gets back to make a ridiculous block from close-range and send the playmaker’s effort flying over the top of the bar!
75′ This result – should it stay this way – could blow this already tight-looking group wide open. Japan looked the weakest of the four sides on paper, but three points here could set them up for qualification to the knockout stages!
73′ Honda has only been on the pitch for about three minutes, but his inswinging corner was into a dangerous area with great trajectory, and Osako did the rest with aplomb!
73′ GOAL!!!!! JAPAN TAKE THE LEAD AGAIN! Osako makes it 2-1! Honda whips in a delightful cross from the corner and the striker gets up well to power home his header via the inside of the post!
72′ CHANCE! Sakai receives an excellent lay-off in the box and seems destined to score, but a last-ditch block sends the ball spinning behind for a corner!
70′ Izquierdo is replaced by Bacca as Jose Pekerman switches to a 4-3-2 formation, bringing the striker on to partner Falcao up front. Izquierdo has had a quiet game by his standards.
70′ Kagawa goes off for Honda in a like-for-like substitution as Japan head coach Akira Nishino searches for a winning goal.
69′ A clever ball from Inui into Nagatomo causes mild chaos at the back for Colombia, as Ospina and Davinson Sanchez just about smuggle the ball away between them.
67′ Colombia are really struggling to get a foot on the ball now as Japan advance higher and higher, pushing them back into their own penalty area and pinning them back.
65′ BLOCK! Inui has been Japan’s chief threat going forward in this game, and he gets himself into another good position here, coming in off the left, but his strike at goal from outside the box is blocked away.
64′ Barrios fouls Kagawa and, despite Rodriguez’s protestations, picks up the first yellow card of the game.
63′ Japan have had arguably their best period of the game, moving the ball well and putting pressure on Colombia. They need to keep doing this if they are to press their man advantage and claim all three points.
61′ CHANCE! Izquierdo can’t track the run of Sakai closely enough, and the Japanese full-back gets beyond him and fizzes a ball into a dangerous area, but it runs out for a goal-kick. Perhaps he was caught between crossing and shooting there, and ended up doing neither.
60′ MISS! Yoshida gets up brilliantly above Davinson Sanchez to meet a free-kick with his head, but can only drop it just wide of the near post! Great chance for the Southampton centre-back there.
59′ Colombia goalscorer Quintero reluctantly makes way for Rodriguez, who wasn’t fit enough to start, and he’s greeted by huge cheers from the Colombian supporters.
57′ SAVE! Davinson Sanchez is caught out of position again as Inui is released on the left once more. He declines to shoot on his left, instead cutting inside the Tottenham defender and curling one towards the far corner that Ospina palms away well!
56′ Arias does excellently to win the ball back on the right, despite being faced with a two-on-one, and drives away to spark a Colombia attack.
54′ SAVE! Osako gets in behind Davinson Sanchez well, just as he did in the build up to the penalty in the first half, turning him and drilling a low show shot towards the near post on the left, but Ospina is down well to make the save!
52′ Izquierdo tries to wriggle inside from the left wing, cutting inside one man, then another, but he holds it too long and loses possession. He had a quiet first half by his standards, and that was the first we’ve really seen of him driving and running at defenders.
50′ CHANCE! Yoshida controls well from the whipped corner, but he can’t turn with his back to goal and the ball is eventually poked away from him. There was a moment of panic for Colombia there, but they dealt with the danger well.
49′ Lerma covers back well, heading behind from Inui’s cross to concede a corner.
48′ Japan start the second half brightly, working the ball from right to left and then into the middle, but Colombia stand firm and repel the danger.
46′ And we’re back underway for the second half of this very entertaining clash!
Ahead of the second half, Japan will look to make more of their extra man than they have done. They’ve moved the ball too slowly and wasted the chances that they have created, but if they can hang on into the latter stages of the game, they will fancy their chances of capitalising on tired Colombian legs. Colombia will hope to continue as they have done so far, and still look like they believe they can win this game!
What a half of football! Colombia are involved in yet another entertaining World Cup game, seeing Carlos Sanchez sent off for handball just three minutes in, Kagawa dispatching the subsequent penalty with ease. However, the South Americans kept pushing forward, and Quintero equalised with a clever free-kick under the wall that just crept over the line! It’s 1-1 at the break!
45′ + 1′ HALF-TIME: COLOMBIA 1-1 JAPAN
45′ Japan are just clinging on here, as Colombia seem to be riding their momentum and putting the Japanese under pressure. They’ve just moved the ball far too slowly after going 1-0 up, and have paid the price for allowing their opponents back into the game.
42′ Falcao gives away a foul on Japan’s left-hand side, as Nagatomo tries to advance down the line and help restore his team’s advantage.
39′ GOAL!!!! QUINTERO EQUALISES! It’s now 1-1! It’s a really clever free-kick as he fizzes it under the jumping wall and into the bottom corner! The keeper catches it just as it crosses the line and tries to protest, but the goal-line technology gives the goal! 10-man Colombia are back on level terms!
38′ Moments later, though, Falcao does win a free-kick on the right-hand side, although it’s a contentious one.
37′ NO PENALTY! The free-kick is lofted in, but Japan head partially away. Falcao tries to make something happen in the box and goes down under pressure, but the referee isn’t interested.
36′ Quintero stands over a free-kick on the left after a foul by Hasebe. Colombia are certainly a greater physical presence in the box.

34′ SAVE! Falcao gets another chance but, just like his first, he’s stretching to reach it and can only poke it on target, allowing the keeper to catch comfortably.
32′ CHANCE! An under-hit pass causes all sorts of problems at the back for Colombia, before Nagatomo’s cross deflects onto the roof of the net for a corner! Japan are probing and pressing here.
31′ It’s actually Cuadrado who makes way for Barrios! That is very surprising, as he’s looked their brightest player so far. Quintero moves out to the right flank.
29′ Lerma gives away a free-kick in the centre of the park as Barrios – a central midfielder – is warming up on the sidelines and looks ready to come on. Possibly for Quintero as a more natural holding player?
27′ Japan try to work an opening down the left, but the cross is too central and is easy work for Ospina, who makes the catch.
25′ CHANCE! A wonderful cross from the left is aimed at Cuadrado, who had made a very clever run into the box, but Nagatomo watched him all the way and cleared it out for a corner. Cuadrado has looked very bright, but Nagatomo has been equal to the task of marking him so far.
23′ The corner is taken short before being lofted into the box from the inside-right channel, but Japan give a free-kick away and the chance is gone.
22′ Haraguchi is released down the line well, but he’s marked closely and has to settle for a corner.
20′ Shigasaki makes an excellent challenge on the edge of his penalty box, robbing Cuadrado of the ball just as he was pulling the trigger to shoot! Wonderfully-timed tackle there.
18′ Cuadrado makes a nuisance of himself again down the right, but takes one too many touches in his attempt to beat left-back Nagatomo, who stands his gorund well and the ball eventually runs out of play for a goal-kick.
16′ Colombia do look exposed now that they are a man down, but they’ve steadied themselves quickly and are still looking to impose themselves on the game, using the pace of Cuadrado and Izquierdo to break.
14′ MISS! Japan win the ball in the centre of the park and break quickly on an exposed Colombian defence, working it wide to Inui on the left, but the winger just can’t curl his shot inside the far post!
12′ SAVE! Colombia are doing their best to get themselves back into this one, and win a free-kick high up the field. It’s curled into Falcao, who manages to direct it on target on the stretch, but Kawashima had positioned himself well and made a comfortable catch.
10′ Colombia have settled into a 4-4-1 formation, with Quintero dropping deeper to sit alongside Lerma.
8′ Cuadrado tries to get his side back on level terms as he surges down the right, before slowing up and trying to feed the overlapping run of right-back Arias, but the offside flag goes up.
6′ GOAL!! KAGAWA SCORES! He’s made it 1-0 to Japan! The Borussia Dortmund midfielder is unfazed by Ospina’s attempts to delay the penalty and put him off, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way and slotting coolly into the corner!
3′ RED CARD! Unsurprisingly, Carlos Sanchez is shown a straight red card for blocking Kagawa’s shot with his arm. Colombia down to 10 men so early in this game!
3′ PENALTY! WHAT A START! A Colombia attack breaks down and Japan break quickly through Osaka, who forces a good save from Ospina, but the ball falls kindly for Kagawa, whose shot on goal is blocked by the arm of Carlos Sanchez!!! Unbelievable!
1′ Here we go! The first fixture of a very competitive-looking Group H gets underway!
The teams are out, and we’re ready for the national anthems.
However, Japan have been a regular presence in the World Cup in recent times, having qualified for all six tournaments since their debut in 1998. Colombia, on the other hand, missed out on three in a row between 2002 and 2010.
Colombia are one of the tournament’s perennial entertainers, however, and have never recorded a goalless draw at the showpiece event in 18 games – the third-highest tally behind the USA and Austria.
The history doesn’t make good reading for Japan, who have never beaten Colombia (D1 L2), last losing 4-1 in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup. In fact, Japan have never beaten a South American side at a World Cup in four previous attempts (D1 L3).
Both sides are missing a key forward today – Colombia are without the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner Rodriguez due to a muscle complaint, while Japan are without Leicester City striker Okazaki because of a calf problem. Both players make their respective benches, but it remains to be seen if they are fit enough to have any part in the game.
Japan substitutes: Keisuke Honda, Naomichi Ueda, Hotaru Yamaguchi, Kosuke Nakamura, Yoshinori Muto, Wataru Endo, Shinji Okazaki, Gotoku Sakai, Ryota Oshima, Takashi Usami, Tomoaki Makino, Masaaki Higashiguchi
Japan XI (4-2-3-1): Eiji Kawashima; Yuto Nagatomo, Gen Shoji, Maya Yoshida, Hiroki Sakai; Gaku Shibasaki, Makoto Hasebe; Takashi Inui, Shinji Kagawa, Genki Haraguchi; Yuya Osako
Colombia substitutes: Wilmar Barrios, Camilo Vargas, Jose Cuadrado, Yerry Mina, Cristian Zapata, James Rodriguez, Miguel Borja, Mateus Uribe, Carlos Bacca, Abel Aguilar, Luis Muriel, Farid Diaz
Colombia XI (4-2-3-1): David Ospina; Johan Mojica, Davinson Sanchez, Oscar Murillo, Santiago Arias; Carlos Sanchez, Jefferson Lerma; Jose Izquierdo, Juan Quintero, Juan Cuadrado; Radamel Falcao
The line-ups are out, and we’ll start with Colombia.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage of the Group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

GOAL

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