Russia 2018 has produced yet another unexpected result as Japan beat favourites Colombia 2-1 on Tuesday.
Japan’s defeat of Colombia makes it the first time they have ever defeated Soth American opposition at this level.
All bets were on Colombia repeating their 2014 blow out of Japan – they thrashed the Blue Samurai 4-1 in Brazil.
But four years on the Japanese refused to follow that script, as they attacked the Colombians from the blast of the whistle.
They got a penalty after Colombian defender Carlos Sanchez blocked a goal-bound shot from Japan’s Yuya Osako.
With Sanchez sent-off to have an early bath, Japan’s Shinji Kagawa converted the resultant penalty to give the Asians a 1-0 lead in the third minute.
Colombia fought-on despite being a man down and Juan Quintero curled an exquisite free kick that crossed the line to restore parity.
The nippy Japanese pushed harder in the second half and eventually breached the Colombian defence in the seventy-third minute as Honda whipped in a delightful cross from the corner and striker Osako powered home his header via the inside of the post to seal the winner.
Not even the arrival of previously injured James Rodriguez could turn the tide for Colombia, as Japan held on to record a famous win.
The defeat of Colomiba now blows Group H wide open, as Senegal face Poland in the second match later.