Having amassed 83 caps for his country, this will likely be Kawashima's last World Cup with the gloveman very much in his twilight years.
The 2-1 victory over Colombia on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time) was another surprising result in an unpredictable tournament.
Not just the second-fastest goal of the tournament, the game which squared off on a dramatic note, also saw the second fastest red card in World Cup history. Japan created a break for Shinji Kagawa who poked the ball at Colombia keeper David Ospina.
There was some confusion about why the incident justified a red card.
Perhaps surprisingly Pekerman also included Levante's Jeffferson Lerma in the heart of the midfield alongside the nearly ever-present Carlos Sanchez.
Takashi Inui and Osako both missed glorious chances to extend Japan's lead as both were off target with right-footed shots, and Colombia made them pay for such wastefulness as Quintero embarrassed Eiji Kawashima with his free-kick that trickled under his wall and over the line despite his desperate attempts to keep it out.
World Cup games are known for starting on time.
None of Colombia's 19 games at the World Cup have ended goalless.
With only the first matches of the group stages concluding today, there have already been more free-kicks scored this summer than in Brazil 2014, and what a collection of goals they have been so far.
Los Cafeteros were hardly overrun in the second half, but as the game wore on Japan's numbers advantage started to show.
World Cup fans celebrating in Mexico City may have caused artificial natural disaster
The last occasion of them failing to win their first game was in Mexico in 1986, when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Uruguay. Mexico shocked the soccer world Sunday when it defeated defending champions Germany in a stunning World Cup opener.
23-Foot-Long Python Swallows Indonesian Woman As She Checks Her Corn
Her family and neighbors launched a search after finding her sandals and a flashlight in her garden the next morning. Wa Tiba , 54, left her home on Muna island to visit her cornfield Thursday night, according to the Jakarta Post .
In Macedonia began a rebellion against the new name of the country
Zaev and his Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras , have also faced political dissent. The deal was welcomed by European Union officials.
Sanchez did not speak to reporters after the match.
Take a look through the gallery above to see the best pictures as Carlos Sanchez is sent off for a deliberate handball in Colombia's World Cup clash with Japan. "However, it is just one win, three points".
That gave Colombia extra control and their all-time leading scorer and captain Radamel Falcao came more into the game. "We need to be strong, have character and show the power of our team".
Not a bad way to provide joy to a country recovering from a deadly natural disaster in Osaka a day earlier. Japanese princess Takamado attended the match.
After months of planning and preparation, manager Jose Pekerman could not have anticipated Carlos Sanchez becoming the first ever player to be sent off for Colombia at a World Cup finals.
But it was apparent within minutes, when Sanchez got the red card, that the rematch would not go so smoothly for the Colombians.
Osako's 73rd-minute victor means the Japanese avenged their 4-1 mauling in the group stages of Brazil 2014 as Colombia played with a man down for 86 minutes in Saransk. The Bayern Munich midfielder has an injured left calf and was on the bench at the start.
"It is tough to lose a player (Sanchez) so early, especially one so important", said Pekerman.
Keisuke Honda is the first player from an Asian nation to provide an assist in three different World Cup tournaments since 1966.
When fans let out the customary cheer to mark the beginning of the match, the teams were still standing still.