Yuya Osako scored a second-half winner as Japan beat 10-man Colombia 2-1 in their opening match at the World Cup finals in Russia on Tuesday.
Japan stunned the much-fancied South Americans by taking the lead after just six minutes, Shinji Kagawa slotting home from the penalty spot after Carlos Sanchez was sent off for handling the Dortmund midfielder’s shot into the box.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Colombians leveled from a dubiously awarded free kick late in the first half, Japan keeper Eiji Kawashima unable to prevent Juan Quintero’s shot under the wall from creeping over the line.
But new Werder Bremen signing Osako put Japan back in front in the 73rd minute, climbing to head home substitute Keisuke Honda’s corner to seal victory and help the four-time Asian champions avenge their 4-1 loss to Colombia in the group phase at the last World Cup in Brazil.
Poland take on Senegal later in the day in the other Group H game.