Colombia came back to beat Japan 2-1 in an international football friendly Tuesday thanks to a spectacular bicycle-kick winner from Rafael Borre in the 61st minute at Osaka's Yodoko Sakura Stadium.
Brighton star Kaoru Mitoma gave Japan an early lead with his own highlight-reel goal before Jhon Duran's equalizer saw the teams head into halftime knotted 1-1.
The entertaining clash pitted a Japan squad introducing new faces to the group who reached the World Cup last-16 against a Colombia rebuilding under new Argentine manager Nestor Lorenzo following their failure to qualify for Qatar 2022.
Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu made a handful of changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Uruguay four days earlier, including a first cap for 21-year-old FC Tokyo fullback Kashif Bangnagande.
Captaining Japan for the first time, defender Ko Itakura said the friendlies were a valuable exercise despite the "frustrating" lack of a win.
"We are appreciative of having such tough opponents. Uruguay and Colombia were extremely good in fighting for the ball, and I think we can build on the experience," the Borussia Monchengladbach center-back said.
Mitoma netted after just three minutes, flying in from the left and soaring above defender Daniel Munoz to fire home a header off Hidemasa Morita's cross.
前半3分のヘディング先制弾⚽️#三笘薫 選手の得点をピッチレベルで🎥#キリンチャレンジカップ #夢への勇気を#jfa #daihyo #SAMURAIBLUE#サッカー日本代表 pic.twitter.com/QAu806hTR3— サッカー日本代表 🇯🇵 (@jfa_samuraiblue) March 28, 2023
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The hosts had the initiative for much of the first half but were punished for giving away the ball in their defensive third in the 33rd minute, when Deiver Machado cut back for Aston Villa forward Duran to slot past Japan keeper Daniel Schmidt with his first touch.
The Samurai Blue put themselves in position to equalize from a foray down the right, but Takuma Nishimura could not hit the target from 10 meters after Junya Ito found him in line with goal.
The South Americans took the lead after a long ball led to a scramble on the right of the Japanese box. Schimdt blocked an initial attempt from Munoz, but the rebound floated toward Eintracht Frankfurt attacker Borre, whose stunning effort gave the keeper no chance.
Second-half substitute Ayase Ueda saw his late attempt at a headed equalizer just kept off the line by an excellent save from Colombia keeper Camilo Vargas.
"We weren't able to turn the game our way after that first goal and that was unfortunate," Moriyasu said. "Obviously, we need to find a way to win in any kind of game, and get better at controlling the game."