By Chux Odoh
It took just 2 minutes and 56 seconds before Carlos Sanchez was sent off in the opening game in Group H between Columbia and Japan in the 2018 FIFA world cup in Russia.
The midfielder who plays his club football with Espanyol was shown a straight red after he blocked a goalbound effort from Shinji Kagawa with his right arm inside the box. Sanchez was given his marching orders by referee Damir Skomina, making him the first player to receive a red card in this competition and the second-quickest in World Cup history.
Shinji Kagawa made no mistake to score from the resultant penalty in the 6th minute as the South Americans proceeded to plat the remainder of the game with 10 men.
Columbia made efforts to fight it out and hope was restored when Juan Quintero scored in the 39th minute from a set piece, becoming the 4th player to score from a freekick since the tournament started and closing the first half with both teams having a goal apiece.
Japan continued to put pressure on the Columbian defence and Yuya Osako saved the day the 73rd minute as he headed beautifully from a corner kick to break the hearts of the Colombians.
Japan will temporarily head group H and the other group match between Polland and Senegal gets underway.