Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez was sent off in the third minute for deliberate handball and Shinji Kagawa's penalty put Japan 1-0 ahead. They got a deserved equalizer in the 39th minute through Juan Quintero, who slid his free-kick under the wall, where it beat Eiji Kawashima at his near post.
David Ospina had come for the cross, leaving a big target for Osako, but the header was perfectly placed into the corner.
The ball went out Kagawa and his goal-bound follow-up hit the outstretched arm of Sanchez, drawing an immediate red from referee Damir Skomina.
Falcao captain's Colombia in his first World Cup appearance.
Why is James Rodriguez not playing?
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Shinji Okazaki also was named on the bench after a calf complaint but Shinji Kagawa was handed a start. Osako forced Ospina into another save low to his left after rolling Davinson Sanchez before Hiroki Sakai was denied by another sprawling save from the Colombian keeper.
It's impossible to forget Colombia forward James Rodriguez's incredible run in the 2014 World Cup. With the "Fubo Premier" bundle, you will get access to all four of the World Cup soccer TV channels in most markets. The 29-year old was a key player in Japan's qualification run scoring six goals and will have to be at his best against the South Americans if Japan has a chance of getting out of Group H.
World Cup games are known for starting on time. The only nations that have played more games in the competition without recording a nil-nil are U.S. (33) and Austria (29).
Asian teams had managed three draws in 17 matches against South American sides but the four-times Asian champions made their extra man count after Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez became the first player to get a red card in Russian Federation.