The first red card of the World Cup came just moments after fans took their seats in Saransk.
[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]
After David Ospina blocked a breakaway opportunity from Yuya Osako in the third minute of the match, Japan star and former Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa fired the rebound on goal. But his shot was blocked by the arm of Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez, which earned him a straight red card from referee Damir Skomina and an early trip to the locker room.
Kagawa then stepped up to the spot and calmly sent Ospina the wrong way to give Japan the shock early lead.
Colombia will play the rest of the match with ten men and no James Rodriguez, who was named to the bench for this match as he recovers from a reported calf injury.