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Why Is James Rodriguez Not Playing? Colombian Star Ruled Out

Why Is James Rodriguez Not Playing? Colombian Star Ruled Out

Colombia's Carlos Sanchez received a red card in the opening minutes of their Group H match against Japan for a deliberate handball inside the box, to become the second fastest to be sent off in a World Cup match.

Shinji Kagawa got the Samurai Blue off to a dream start when he converted a penalty after six minutes, but a Juan Quintero freekick saw Colombia pull level six minutes before the break.

Akira Nishino was only appointed as Japan coach in April, replacing Vahid Halilhodzic during a tumultuous build-up to their World Cup campaign.

Tottenham Hotspur defender Davinson Sanchez was in action for Colombia against Japan at the World Cup on Tuesday.

Perhaps sensing a chance to steal the match, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman sent on James Rodriguez in the 59th minute, the 2014 World Cup's golden boot victor having been questionable before the match due to a calf injury.

Japan looked threatening on the counter during the rest of the first half, as the South Americans struggled to deal with playing a man down in midfield and failed to track back to defend.

After the break, Japan pressed a exhausted Colombia side and Yuya Osako grabbed the victor with a glancing header in the 73rd minute. Rodriguez's stunning goal against Uruguay in the second round, when he controlled the ball with his chest and volleyed home from distance, was one of the tournament's best moments.

It was also sweet revenge for Japan, who were thumped 4-1 by the same opponents in Brazil 2014, but they wasted plenty of chances to kill the game off earlier. I'm not sure a red card is needed as well as a penalty, and nor is he - it takes him a long old time to depart.

Colombia began the game without Rodriguez, a Bayern Munich midfielder who was the leading scorer at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"We had practiced loads of set pieces and that goal was straight off the training ground", said Osako.

But it was apparent within minutes that the rematch would not go so smoothly for Colombia, much to the chagrin of entire sections of the Mordovia Arena bathed in yellow.

Osako's 73rd-minute victor meant the Japanese avenged their 4-1 mauling in the group stages of Brazil 2014 as Colombia played with a man down for 86 minutes in Saransk.

Colombia responded well to going a goal and a man down, but when, in the second half, they could barely get a touch of the ball, Pekerman brought on James Rodriguez.

This time there was to be no comeback, despite the arrival of James Rodriguez and Carlos Bacca on the pitch and a valiant late push by Los Cafeteros.

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