Japanese fans tidy up stadium after win over Colombia

Colombia

First Japan, ranked 61st in the world, became the first Asian side to beat South American opposition at any World Cup, overcoming 16th-ranked Colombia 2-1.

Colombia will next lock horns with eight-placed Poland, Japan will square off with 27th placed Senegal in their second match of the ongoing football showpiece event. America's Steve Christakos reports.

If Group A opponent Uruguay either defeats or draws with Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Russia would be the first team to qualify for the knockout stage and Egypt would be eliminated.

Shinji Kagawa scored from the resulting penalty to give Japan the lead in the Group H match.

"Both teams need to win ... our team is very competitive and the match has to be played as if it were a final".

The 2-1 victory was the first and only African win in the first round of matches, after Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia all lost their opening games. Russian Federation scored three goals in 15 minutes and held on to win 3-1.

Senegal's first goal in the 37th minute came as a gift to a side that carried a whole continent on its shoulders.

"We know Africa supports us", goalscorer Mbaye Niang said.

Kagawa duly dispatched the penalty and Japan should have been further ahead at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk when Takashi Inui and Yuya Osako each missed opportunities.

"I tried to man the midfield with players who can take the initiative", said Nishino after the win over Colombia, who had thumped the Japanese 4-1 four years ago in Brazil.

The extra Japanese player ultimately proved crucial as the Blue Samurai went on to record a shock 2-1 win against the group favourites.

The death threat brings to memory the death of Andres Escobar who was shot upon return from the U.S. '94 World Cup after he scored an own goal in the encounter with the USA.

Just after midday Moscow time, Maluma wrote on social media that he was traveling to the city of Saransk where Colombia was due to play Japan, posting a picture of himself wearing a Colombian soccer jersey in front of a plane.

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