First match of group H between Colombia and Japan. This group is probably the most Open of the competition, as with Poland and Senegal, which compete a little later in the day, no big favourites emerge. This first match offered a rematch in 2014, where the Colombians had bowled their opponents on the unchallenged score of (4-1). Pekerman lined up a 4-2-3-1 with Falcao, who competed for the First World Cup of his career but without James Rodriguez getting a minor injury. Japan presented itself to him in a similar system with Inui and Kagawa and osako’s support.
The forward from the Bremen Werder was not long in coming to the fore. He went deep to challenge Ospina, then it was Carlos Sanchez who deflected the ball from his arm as he took the way to the goal (4th). The referee immediately took out the red card and indicated the penalty point. Kagawa did not tremble (1-0, 6th). The Cafeteros could not have known a worse start to the match. Nevertheless, they managed to remobilize themselves, creating an opportunity with the tip of Falcao’s foot (12′). Even if Inui got a nice situation (15′) with the image of more offensive Nippons, the debates would rebalance. Osako was also unable to frame (32′).
James’s entry wasn’t enough.
Cuadrado wasn’t there at all today. Pekerman did not hesitate to replace him with Barrios in the half hour. Colombia was suffering in the penalty box, but its technique was able to make differences in a few strokes. She ended up making the difference on free-kick. The former Rennese Quintero struck intelligently under the wall and deceived Kawashima (1-1, 39′). A welcome inspiration that allowed his team to come back in the second half with a tie. On the way back from the locker room, the danger became clear on Ospina’s cage. The Samurai Blues took control of the game.
The Sanchez-Murillo pair took the water, but the defence held up initially on the chances of Osako (54′), Inui (57′) and Marseillais Sakai (73′), who saw his shot at point-blank range against in extremis. The next one was the right one. On the next corner kicked by the entrant Honda, Osako climbed higher than everyone else and gave back the advantage to his team (2-1, 73′). Led, the Cafeteros finally tried to react with a James, who came into play a little earlier, more active. Present in the area, the middle of the Bayern saw its shot pushed back in the corner (78′), while Murillo’s head did not hang the frame (79′). The appearance of Bacca did not change anything and, despite a hot situation (90′) ahead of Kawashima, Japan resisted, offering itself a victory of prestige and good luck for the rest of the competition. Colombia already has no right to make mistakes.