The Daily Manila Shimbun


Japan defeats Colombia in World Cup opener

June 20, 2018

Japan beat Colombia 2-1 in their Group H opening match at the FIFA World Cup in Russia on Tuesday.

The Samurai Blue became the first Asian team to win a World Cup game against a South American side. Japan was routed by Colombia 4-1 in the previous World Cup in Brazil.

"The win is a great advantage," Japan coach Akira Nishino said after Tuesday's match.

At a press conference in Tokyo, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga praised the win, calling it "a historic start to the World Cup."

Japan took a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute when midfielder Shinji Kagawa converted a penalty. A header by striker Yuya Osako in the 73rd minute sealed the win for Japan.

The win gave Japan three points.

Japan may clinch a spot in the knockout round if it wins the next game against Senegal on Sunday. The two teams are now tied for the group lead. Japan also meets Poland on June 28. Jiji Press