Jose Pekerman: Japan deserved to beat Colombia

Colombia manager Jose Pekerman has admitted that Japan were the better team in the World Cup encounter and deserved to beat the South American outfit. Colombia witnessed Carlos Sanchez sent off in just the third minute after denying a clear goalscoring opportunity with his hand and shortly after, Shinji Kagawa converted the resultant penalty.

Thereafter, Japan had the better chances to find the scoresheet but Juan Quintero pulled things level for Colombia with a brilliant free-kick prior to the break. Despite this, Japan continued to push for the winner amid the tired legs in the opposition side and Yuya Osako bagged the match-winning goal for the Samurai Blue in the 73rd minute.

Speaking after the game, Pekerman did not provide much of a defence for his team’s performance and attributed the loss to fatigue which was bestowed on his players, he said: “It's not easy to lose a player [midfielder Carlos Sanchez] in the first three minutes [of the match], but we managed to cope with the situation.

”We even equalized... But Japan managed to adapt to the situation, they managed to score, as they played better. We had two players in attack in the second half with Carlos Bacca and James Rodriguez, as [Juan] Quintero was tired after the first half. There were possibilities to attack, but when you have 10 men instead of 11, it means one is missing in the middle... We lost because we were tired.”

The ongoing World Cup has already provided plenty of surprises and similarly to Colombia, Poland suffered a setback in the same group. The Poles were expected to seal a comfortable win over Senegal at the World Cup but things turned differently for the European nation with the Lions picking up a shock 2-1 win. M’BayeNiang bagged the game-changing goal in the 60th minute of the game.