JFA vindicated after Japan's opening win

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As sharp as Samurai swords, Japan twice sliced their way through the Colombian defence to earn the first ever win for an Asian side at the World Cup finals yesterday afternoon.

In another Group H clash, eight-placed Poland will begin their group stage at the showpiece event against 27th placed Senegal at the Spartak Stadium in the second match of the day later today.

Japan's win of the World Cup match against Colombia is twice sweet as the actions of Japan fans off the pitch are winning the hearts of millions. America's Steve Christakos reports.

Halilhodzic had led the side to their sixth consecutive World Cup finals but concerns about the direction the team was going prompted the JFA to replace him with Akira Nishino, giving the new coach 71 days to prepare the side for Russian Federation.

A win for either team will give them an early advantage in a hard Group H, also featuring Colombia and Japan. Later, Senegal toppled Poland, 2-1, clinching the first win by an African nation at this year's World Cup.

Japan's Yuya Osako, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal with teammates Makoto Hasebe, right, and Yuto Nagatomo, left, during the group H match between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordavia Arena in Saransk, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

Form Ronaldo looms for Morocco, Spain face Iran
He scored a hat trick against Spain including an wonderful bending free kick with minutes left in the match to secure a 3-3 draw. Ronaldo scored in the fourth minute of the match to become the highest-scoring European player in global soccer history.

Own-goal enough in Iran victory
We have three teams which in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings are all above us. I am so happy and proud of my team and my country, but wanted to wish you also all the best in you career.

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Iran kept a firm head on all fronts, despite David Silva's attempted volley that sailed over the crossbar after 30 minutes. Spain will face Morocco in its final match on Monday in Kaliningrad, while Portugal plays Iran in Saransk on the same day.

Sall was invited to the World Cup by Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general Fatma Samoura, who is from Senegal.

"Despite that we came back in the second half, but with Japan having an extra player, it was very hard to recover possession". "We can make up for this first defeat in the next two matches".

Despite Japan's stunning win against one of the strongest footballing nation, Sanchez's red card took centre stage of the tie's debate.

Just four minutes into the game, Colombia were reduced to 10 men as midfielder Carlos Sanchez was handed a red card -the first of the ongoing World Cup-for handling the ball inside the box.

Juan Quintero's clever free-kick drew the South American side level, however, when he fired low under the jumping wall before half-time.