It was a match which had plenty of talking points a first red card of the World Cup, a penalty, a clever free kick and a historic first win for Japan over Colombia as the Blue Samurai beat the South American team 2-1 in their opening World Cup match.
In making the perfect start to their campaign, Japan became the first Asian country to defeat a South American team at a World Cup and ended the day leading one of the most intriguing groups in the tournament.
Senegal’s 2-1 victory over Poland in Group H’s second game of the day further boosted Japan’s hopes of progressing to the knockout stages though Poland and Colombia will be expected to improve after disappointing on Tuesday.
Senegal’s success was the first victory by an African team at Russia 2018.
Japan coach Akira Nishino talked before the match of his worry about the “psychological impact” of Monday’s earthquake which hit the Japanese city of Osaka during morning rush hour, killing at least five people.
On behalf of the team, midfielder and captain Makoto Hasebe extended his “heartfelt condolences” to those affected and admitted that players with loved ones in Japan’s second-largest city goalkeeper Masaaki Higashigushi and midfielder Hotaru Yamaguchi, play professionally in Osaka, while attacking midfielder Keisuke Honda was born in the area — “might have been negatively impacted” emotionally.