Japan tops Colombia 2-1 in group stage, making World Cup history

Japan versus Colombia.
(Image credit: Screenshot/FOX Sports)

Japan stunned Colombia on Tuesday in the World Cup, with the heavy underdogs winning the match 2-1. The victory made Japan the first Asian country to beat a South American nation in World Cup history, CBC reports.

The upset began within the first 10 minutes of the game, when Carlos Sanchez used his hand to block midfielder Shinji Kagawa's shot. Sanchez received a red card and Kagawa scored on the penalty. Playing with just 10 men, Colombia's Juan Quintero managed to score the equalizer on a free kick in the 39th minute, but Japan pulled ahead again in the 73rd minute thanks to striker Yuya Osako.

Colombia, which lost 2-1 to Brazil in the World Cup quarterfinals in 2014, is stuck at 0 points in the group stage due to their loss Tuesday. In a preview of the match, The Washington Post had observed that Japan "looked inconsistent and confused in the qualifications, partly a result of shifting managers. We'll know if this team is for real after this tough early test." Certainly they've proven themselves — FiveThirtyEight now gives Japan a 76 percent chance of advancing to the Round of 16.

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Watch Japan's game-opening goal below. Jeva Lange

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