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ICYMI: Maya Yoshida plays 90 minutes for Japan as they overcome Colombia in World Cup opener

Go on, Yoshi!

Colombia v Japan: Group H - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has already thrown up a number of surprises, and Maya Yoshida’s Japan continued that trend on Tuesday afternoon.

Yoshida, who played the full 90 minutes, helped Japan to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over a talented Colombia side in their opening match at the World Cup.

Things got off to a great start for Samurai Blue, as former Aston Villa man Carlos Sanchez was sent off for a deliberate handball within three minutes, while Borussia Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa duly converted the resulting penalty to give Japan a valuable early lead.

Japan defended resolutely, with Yoshida leading from the back, but Colombia drew level shortly before half time through a clever Juan Quintero free-kick.

However, with less than 20 minutes remaining, Yuya Osaka headed home the winner to give Japan three massive points to help them attempt progressing from one of the tightest-looking groups at the early stages of the World Cup.

The win ends Japan’s winless run against South American opposition at the World Cup.

Next up for Japan is a Senegal side which boasts former Southampton man Sadio Mane. They play on Sunday in a crunch clash - and I think we all know who Southampton fans will be rooting for.

Senegal defeated Poland in another surprising result, leaving Group H wide open.