Match highlights: Colombia crush Japan 4-1
Colombia were simply more clinical as they put four goals past Japan in their last match of the group stages on Wednesday (June 25).
Going into the game Japan needed a win to stand any chance of qualifying for the second round and conceding an early penalty did nothing to help their cause.
Jackson Martinez was brought down in the area by Yasukui Konno and one of Colombia's many stand out stars, Juan Cuadrado stepped up to convert the penalty in the 17th minute.
Sparking yet another Colombia mass dancing special in the sidelines. They of course have been turning the art of celebrating goals in this World Cup into an art.
Although Shinji Okazaki's fine diving header equalized for the Japanese just before halftime, it did not stop Colombia from putting on a show with another three goals to top their group and qualify for the round of 16 - the first time in 16 years.
With Colombia’s main marksman Radamel Falcao missing the tournament due to injury and Teofilo Gutierrez rested, Martinez underlined Colombia’s depth of striking talent when he put them ahead again 10 minutes into the second half.
Right back Santiago Arias cut inside and passed to substitute midfielder James Rodriguez who laid the ball off to his left from where Martinez shot home across the diving Japanese goalkeeper.
Martinez got his second eight minutes from time on the counter-attack as Japan threw bodies forward looking for an equaliser.
Rodriguez then scored with a clever run and chip over the Japanese goalkeeper to complete the rout with his third goal of the tournament in the dying minutes.
Colombia will face Uruguay on June 29 on what will definitely be a mouth watering clash.
Source: Reuters, YouTube