Colombia manager Jose Pekerman has admitted that the odds were always against his side as soon as they went down to ten men; following their 2-1 World Cup defeat to Japan on Tuesday afternoon. Carlos Sanchez was sent off after only three minutes, and Japan took the early lead through a Shinji Kagawa penalty.
It must be one hell of a fight. Playing 92 minutes of football with one player less than your opponent takes a lot of grit and determination. For the entirety of the first half, Colombia had that. In fact, they looked more threatening than their opponent and proved so with a brilliant equaliser just before the break.
However, there’s only so long you can sustain these high levels of performance before exhaustion kicks in. And it did kick in. As the second half grew on, Japan began to dominate, and found a well earned winner which essentially killed off the game.
Speaking after the match, Colombia boss Peckerman admits that his side made it hard for themselves.
“It is tough to lose a player so early, especially one so important,” Peckerman began (via Sports Mole).
“Despite that we came back in the second half. But with Japan having an extra player, it was very hard to recover possession.”
The defeat will be a real kick in the teeth to Colombia, who would’ve seen this match as a definite set of three points for James Rodriguez and Co. Now they have it all to do, and victories over Senegal and Poland are a must if they want to have the best chance of qualifying for the Round of 16.