International Friendlies: Colombia earn a narrow win over Japan in World Cup rematch
Colombia edged a narrow victory over Japan in a re-run of their World Cup 2018 game at Nissan Stadium, Yokohama.
Samurai Blue boss Hajime Moriyasu has given a first time run out to Consadole Sapporo striker Musashi Suzuki who sat in front of an attacking three consisting of Shoya Nakajima, Takumi Minamino and Ritsu Doan.
The South American side, under new management with former Iran Head Coach Carlos Queiroz, took the lead from a Radamel Falcao penalty kick with Japanese defender Takehiro Tomiyasu being the perpetrator of a handball in the 64th minute.
The first half produced worthy chances from both sides. Colombia`s Sebastian Villa was unlucky not to break the deadlock early on with a close-range shot ricocheting off the crossbar.
Japan also posed a threat on the break and came close on several occasions, most notably with a long-range shot from Shoya Nakajima.
In contrast to their set up at the AFC Asian Cup back in January, Japan Head Coach Hajime Moriyasu appears to have favored a counter-attacking strategy on this occasion with long passes being played towards the front three attacking players.
After the break, the Colombians continued to take the game to the Japanese with increased velocity. Despite having a 48th-minute goal overruled as a result of an offensive foul, Radamel Falcao was able to convert from the penalty spot and give Los Cafeteros their winning goal.
English Premier League duo Yerry Mina and Davinson Sanchez held firm in the center of defense and proved impenetrable for the Japanese attack. Despite some last-minute grasps from the hosts, the Colombians were able to claim some sort of revenge for last June`s World Cup defeat.
Next up the South American side will travel slightly east of Japan for their next friendly with South Korea, whilst the Samurai Blue will continue their Copa America 2019 preparations by hosting Bolivia on Tuesday evening in Kobe.