Yuya Osako’s header gave Japan victory over 10-man Colombia in the World Cup Group H opener in Saransk.
Shinji Kagawa opened the scoring for Japan from the penalty spot following a three-minute delay, after Carlos Sanchez was sent off for handling his shot.
Colombia fought back to level before the half-time thanks to Juan Quintero’s clever free-kick from 20 yards, which was confirmed by goalline technology.
But Osako headed home off the post from Keisuke Honda’s fine corner with 17 minutes remaining at the Mordovia Arena.
Poland and Senegal, the other teams in the group, meet at 16:00 BST.