Colombia 1-2 Japan: Yuya Osako Winner Hands Japanese Shock Victory Over 10-Man Los Cafeteros

Tuesday’s early ?World Cup kick off saw a Colombia side expected to do well this summer fall victim to a Japanese team not tipped to go very far in Russia. In a game that eventually ended 2-1 to Japan, an early red card meant that the South Americans faced an uphill battle from the off – and the Asian side made them pay.

Colombia arrived with star player James Rodriguez on the bench. The playmaker, who won the golden boot of 2014’s edition of the competition in Brazil, was absent through injury – much to his nation’s dismay.

Colombia v Japan: Group H - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Japan, on the other hand, up until now had only played two games under new manager Akira Nashino. Perhaps one helpful factor ahead of the game was that absolutely no one thinks Japan will go anywhere in the next month – the ultimate underdog status.

Both teams came into the game eager to get their World Cup campaigns underway. The torture of having to wait until almost every other first round match had been played had come to an end, and it was finally their turn to add to what has already become a special tournament.?

And the magic of the cup struck immediately, in what became catastrophic news for the South American side.

Not even three minutes had been played before favourites Colombia were down to ten men. Sanchez received his marching orders having purposefully handled the ball to stop it from flying into an empty net. What was worse? It happened inside the box.

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A Japanese attack forced a good save from David Ospina, but his save fell straight to another attacker, and Sanchez’s arm was the only thing that stopped a certain goal.

The Japanese were gifted the perfect start by Sanchez, and Shinji Kagawa coolly slotted home from the penalty spot, waiting for keeper Ospina to make the first move before placing his effort the other side of the man between the sticks. An electric start.

After the manic five that the game opened up with, along came the realisation that there were still 85 minutes to be played. A sense of urgency came over the Colombian players, desperate to find themselves back in the game, but Japan were equal to it, and the extra player advantage seemed to make for a more competitive match on the whole.

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After the game had calmed down a bit, Radamel Falcao earned Colombia a great opportunity after being fouled just on the edge of the box. 

It was Juan Quintero who pulled the South American side level with a beautifully clever free kick. Knowing that the wall would jump, the midfielder rolled the ball towards goal, fooling the men intended to block it, and sneaking it in at the near post.

??The teams came out for the second half, immediately returning the competitive entertainment that the first 45 minutes brought. However, it was Japan who dominated in the opening 15.

Nothing seemed to arrive by the way of real opportunities until the 72nd minute when a deflected shot from Hiroki Sakai only just skipped past the post.

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However, it was from the resulting corner where Japan took the lead once again. The ball whipped in from Keisuke Honda, Yuya Osako found himself on the end of it, knocking in at the back post – taking a nick off the woodwork as it beat Ospina.

The deficit in numbers on the pitch was beginning to take its toll on the Colombians, and Japan had duly taken advantage of it.

Five minutes later, James Rodriguez was offered a great chance back into the game from close range following a brilliant pass from Wilmar Barrios. It was goalscorer Osako who blocked the effort.

The game continued with Japan on top, and despite Colombia’s desperate attempts, the Asian side came out on top.


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Bayern Munich Striker Claims He is Entering His Prime as Rumours Over His Future Increase

Poland international Robert Lewandowski has appeared to offer some comfort for potential suitors this summer who could have concerns about spending big on a 29-year-old forward, claiming that he is ‘just starting the best period for a striker.’

Lewandowski is supposedly vying for a move away from Bayern Munich this summer despite the Bavarians’ stance that he is not for sale, with it being rumoured the forward has his heart set on a move to Real Madrid.

Poland v Chile - International Friendly

And the Polish striker, who is set to lead the line for the White and Reds against Senegal at the World Cup, has slyly claimed that his age shouldn’t be cause for concern if clubs are interested in signing him this summer.

I have a plan to play at the top level at least until I’m 35,” Lewandowski told the Guardian ahead of Poland’s World Cup opener on Tuesday. 

“I feel I’m just starting the best period for a striker. I’m mature and have a lot of experience. If I’m healthy, I will play in Europe as long as possible – and then move on. We will see.”

Lewandowski has spent the last four years in Bavaria after letting his contract at Borussia Dortmund expire. The 29-year-old has a contract at the Allianz Arena until 2021, having signed an extension in December 2016.

He has made 257 appearances in the Bundesliga throughout his eight-year spell in Germany, scoring 180 goals and claiming 51 assists. 

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Lewandowski has also notched 28 goals in other domestic competitions since leaving Lech Poznan, as well as another 46 in the Champions League and Europa League combined.

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Mats Hummels Slams Germany Defending After ‘Wake-Up Call’ in Mexico Defeat

Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels has insisted that Mexico deserved to claim all three points in their ?surprise victory over Germany on Sunday.

But the 29-year-old was unimpressed at how Die Mannschaft defended at the Luzhniki Stadium, admitting that the players had ignored warning signs that arose during warm-up matches ahead of the tournament in Russia.

Germany v Mexico: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

A solitary goal from PSV Eindhoven winger Hirving Lozano, who is tipped by many to become a household name with his performances at the World Cup, was enough to give Mexico the shock win on Sunday, although El Tri did have to survive a barrage of attacks throughout the match.

Hummels admitted that Mexico did deserve to beat the reigning champions on Sunday, but the Bayern star was furious that Germany hadn’t identified their weaknesses ahead of the tournament this summer.

Mexico deserved the win. Our cover was often not good and we were left many times with Jérôme [Boateng] and myself at the back,” Hummels claimed, quoted by the Sun.

“That’s why the first half was like it was, and Mexico obviously deserved to win it.

“If seven of eight players are attacking then it’s clear our attacking power is greater. But that’s something that I have often talked about internally. It doesn’t always bear fruit.

“A wake-up call is too late. We now must win two games, otherwise, that is that with the World Cup. I don’t really understand why we played like we played because, really, we already had our wake-up call.”

Germany were one of the favourites heading into the tournament, with many fans expecting that Die Mannschaft would retain the trophy following their success in 2014.

But Mexico have now given teams the blueprint of how to beat the World Cup holders. 

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El Tri camped in their own half for the majority of the game, not offering danger man Timo Werner any space in behind. That acted as the platform to launch a number of deadly counter-attacks which Germany were unable to deal with throughout the match.

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Report Claims Bayern Munich Star Wants ‘Dream’ Move to Liverpool This Summer

Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso has opened up about a ‘dream’ move to ?Liverpool.
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?The Frenchman ?moved to Munich in the summer of 2017 for a Bundesliga record fee of €41.5m, and enjoyed a very successful debut season with Bayern. He scored six goals and assisted four times in 26 Bundesliga appearances, whilst also managing three goals and two assists in eight Champions League appearances.

France v Republic of Ireland - International Friendly

His impressive performances earned him a call up to Didier Deschamps’ French World Cup squad, with Tolisso completing 78 minutes in France’s 2-1 win over Australia in their opening game of the tournament.
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?The 23-year-old has made a very promising start to his career, however he may be set to leave Bayern after just one season. According to ?calcioinsider.com, a source close to the player has revealed that Tolisso’s dream is to play for Liverpool, saying: “Tolisso wants Premier League (move) and dream (is) Liverpool.”

This claim is supported by an interview Tolisso had with ?Onze Mondial in December last year, where he admitted his admiration of former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard. He said: “I like the long game, the passes between two opponents, the passes behind the defence. It’s beautiful stuff too I think.

?”I’m not going to say that because otherwise people will say ‘he compared to Gerrard’ but I like the passes that Gerrard made. Steven Gerrard is someone who knew how to do everything. He could score, defend. You could see him everywhere.”

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With both Fabinho and Naby Keita set to arrive at Anfield imminently, many believe Jurgen Klopp doesn’t need to sign another central midfielder, although if the opportunity presented itself, it would be hard to turn down a player of Tolisso’s quality.

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Bayern Munich Name Asking Price for Barcelona Target Thiago Alcantara as Exit Rumours Persist

Bayern Munich will demand €70m for in-demand midfielder Thiago Alcântara after the Spaniard emerged as a top target for his former club Barcelona, according to reports.

The 27-year-old among a handful of players who Bayern chiefs Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge are willing to offload ahead of the new season, with Jérôme Boateng and Arturo Vidal also tipped for an exit this summer.

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A report from Spanish outlet Marca claims that Barcelona’s failure to land Atlético Madrid star Antoine Griezmann has pushed Thiago to the top of the club’s transfer wishlist.

The Catalan giants are convinced that the midfielder can be convinced of a return to the Camp Nou this summer, but with a contract in Bavaria until 2021 the decision will be firmly down to the decision makers at Bayern Munich.

The Italy-born playmaker has spent five years away from Barcelona, with his £20m exit from the club linked to a lack of first team opportunities during the club’s most recent golden era.

Thiago, the brother of Inter loanee Rafinha and cousin of international teammate Rodrigo, has gone on to make 153 appearances for Bayern Munich across all competitions, scoring 25 goals and claiming 27 assists.

The 27-year-old has also lifted five Bundesliga titles during his time in Bavaria, as well as two German Cups and Supercups.

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Germany legend Lothar Matthäus even claimed that the reigning league champions should consider offers for Thiago this summer, adding that the midfielder “is not a player for Bayern Munich” in an interview last month.

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