Carlos Sanchez was shown the second-fastest red card in World Cup history as Colombia slipped to a 2-1 defeat in their World Cup opener against Japan in Mordovia.
The game was less than three minutes old when Sanchez blocked Shinji Kagawa’s 20-yard shot with his arm and the referee pointed to the penalty spot before showing the midfielder a straight red card.
After lengthy protests, Sanchez eventually left the field and Kagawa was allowed to slot the penalty clinically into the bottom right corner of the net and Colombia’s game plan was in tatters.
Despite the double setback, the South Americans attacked and Radamel Falcao got a toe to Juan Quintero’s looping pass into the penalty area but could only poke the ball into the arms of veteran Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.
Jose Pekerman shuffled his pack on the half-hour mark, replacing Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado with Boca Juniors midfielder Wilmar Barrios, and an equaliser arrived nine minutes later.
— Getty Images Sport (@GettySport) June 19, 2018
Falcao won a dubious free-kick after a challenge with Makoto Hasebe and Quintero’s ensuing free-kick was driven low into the bottom left corner of the net.
After a frantic first half, the game slowed in the second but Yuya Osako burst into the Colombia box and drew a save from David Ospina with a tricky close-range shot.
Ospina was called into action again moments later, diving full length to his left to push Takashi Inui’s curling 20-yard shot away from danger, before Pekerman sent on James Rodriguez as he sought a way to turn the tide.
02:56 – Carlos Sanchez’s red card after two minutes and 56 seconds is the second fastest shown in World Cup history, after Jose Alberto Batista for Uruguay vs Scotland in 1986 (54 seconds). Handed. #COL #COLJPN #WorldCup
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 19, 2018
But Japan dominated possession and their pressure told when substitute Keisuke Honda’s corner found Osako, who outjumped his marker and headed the ball into the far corner of the net.
James had a sight of goal with 13 minutes remaining but his first-time shot from inside the penalty area was turned over the crossbar by the outstretched leg of Osako, and he will hope to regain full fitness in time to inspire Colombia to better results against Poland and Senegal.
You may also like