Colombia’s Carlos Sanchez was sent off within the first three minutes of his side’s 2018 World Cup opener against Japan, the first red card of this year’s tournament.
Sanchez handled the ball to stop Shinji Kagawa’s goal-bound attempt, and the referee had no hesitation in brandishing the red card and pointing to the penalty spot.
Former Manchester United midfielder Kagawa scored from 12 yards, handing Colombia the worst possible start to their tournament before they pulled level through a Juan Quintero free-kick later in the half.
Indeed, the nation were without James Rodriguez, the midfielder who lit up the 2014 tournament in Brazil, from the start due to injury, though he did come off the bench in the second half.
Sanchez’s sending off is also the second-fastest in World Cup history, after Uruguay’s Jose Batista, who was sent off within a minute of his side’s clash with Scotland in 1986.
Social media, of course, had its say.
1 – The red card for Colombia’s Carlos Sanchez was the first time in history that a team’s first foul at a #WorldCup resulted in a sending off. Cameo. pic.twitter.com/RXN0vw0Qsv
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 19, 2018
Red card in 3 min pic.twitter.com/pktQrQjUxm
— Miss Sun Shine (@1995_sameera) June 19, 2018
Wow! Red card, deliberate handball & penalty in the 1st 3 minutes! #COLJPN
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) June 19, 2018
PENALTY. RED CARD. SHENANIGANS. I LOVE THIS GAME.
— Carl Anka (@Ankaman616) June 19, 2018
#COL vs #JPN – Kick-off, red card and goal pic.twitter.com/ZBxFR81Ls4
— Emilio Sansolini (@EmilioSansolini) June 19, 2018
Carlos Sanchez is 32 years old. I know there’s instinct and adrenaline, but saving a goalbound shot with your hand in an age of VAR just minutes into a WC game is the ultimate bonehead play.
— Gabriele Marcotti (@Marcotti) June 19, 2018
Welcome to the World Cup, Carlos Sanchez! #COLvJPN pic.twitter.com/jFIGuPhb13
— Avi Creditor (@AviCreditor) June 19, 2018
Well that’s literally the worst way to start a World Cup. Carlos Sanchez thinking he’s Suarez causes a penalty and is sent off after 3 minutes…
— Juan “WorldCup” Direction (@JuanDirection58) June 19, 2018
Colombia lose a goal and their most important player after 2 minutes.
Sanchez is very consistent and always wants the ball in the middle, a player they can’t replace.
— Simon Edwards (@SimonEdwardsSAF) June 19, 2018
One thing we aren’t talking about is how Carlos Sánchez actually made an excellent reflex save.
— Miriti Murungi (@NutmegRadio) June 19, 2018
Colombia will also face Poland and Senegal in Group H, but will have to do without Sanchez.