Colombia beat Japan by 4-1 in Cuiabá for the Pantanal Arena's farewell match in the 2014 World Cup. The Colombians scored first, with a penalty kick shot by Cuadrado at the 16th minute. Japan would equalise during stoppage time in the first half, with a header by Okazaki after a cross from Honda at the 46th minute. Colombia's tie-breaker came at the 55th, with a strong shot by Martínez, and the striker score again for the team's third, after a beautiful pass from James Rodriguez. The same Rodriguez (recently signed with Monaco) would go on to score Colombia's last at the 90th minute, complete with swagger and a lot of celebration.
With the results of this Tuesday, the round of sixteen will see another battle between South-American teams. First place in Group C, Colombia will now face Uruguay (second in Group D). The teams face off on 28 June at the Maracanã, in Rio de Janeiro. Greece, who took second place in Group C after a hard-fought victory against Ivory Coast, will now challenge World Cup sensation Costa Rica, which finished first in Group D. Greeks and Costa Ricans fight for a spot in the quarter-finals on 29 June at the Pernambuco Arena, in Recife.
Colombia also made a historic substitution during the match: Goalkeeper Ospina gave place to Mondragón a few minutes before the final whistle, making him the oldest player in World Cup history to take the pitch, at the age of 43. This is his third World Cup. He got a chance to witness Rodríguez's fourth goal for Colombia at the 90th minute, sidestepping the Japanese defender into a knot and dancing it out at the celebration. Mondragón even had the chance to make a save at the very end of the match, and received a standing ovation by the Colombian crowd, happy with the rout and the first place in group C. Martínez was named man of the match.
World Cup Portal