Round of 16: Los Cafeteros defeated fellow South American rivals Uruguay 2-0, with both goals coming from James Rodríguez. The 22-year-old play maker scored his fourth and fifth goal of the World Cup in only four games played.
By Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
RIO DE JANERIO– Rodríguez two goals against Uruguay was the single force that led Colombia into unknown territory of the quarterfinals with a 2-0 victory on Sunday afternoon.
“We’re very happy because we are making history,” The 22-year-old AS Monaco forward told FIFA.com after collecting his third man-of-the-match award of the World Cup. “As a younger man, I always wanted to be here. That was a great dream of mine and we hope that we can make it far.”
Uruguay was attempting to put a tight grip on the match, by making it a slow and physical game. The Celeste were doing their job and keeping Colombia fast moving offense frustrated in the early moments.
However, in the 28th minute Rodríguez put it upon himself to put end to the deadlock and bust the game wide open with a goal that is in the running for the number one goal of the World Cup.
The 22-year-old forward received a pass from the head of midfielder Abel Aguilar, the Colombian who was standing right in front of the penalty box; chested the ball and then before letting the ball hit the ground ripped a shot into the roof of the net.
The ball banged of the crossbar and into the net, and the Uruguayan game plan was thrown out the window with Rodríguez goal.
After that goal Uruguay attempted to hold on and formulate some attacks, but nothing was producing since they were without their number one forward Luis Suárez. He is currently serving a four month suspension after biting a third person, and their attack suffered without him.
Even though the Celeste still had Edinson Cavnni leading the attack, the weight from the pressure of this game proved to be too much for him and the rest of the Uruguayan players.
Ten minutes into the start of the second half Rodríguez would put the game to rest as he scored his fifth goal of the World Cup, and secured Colombia their first trip to the quarterfinals. Cafeteros defender Pablo Armero would send a cross from the left hand side of the field, midfielder Juan Cuadrado would meet the ball in the air, and head the ball down back to where Rodríguez was waiting at the center of penalty box.
The current leading striker of the World Cup would blast a low shot into the net to seal the 2-0 victory for Colombia in the 50th minute. A beautiful play that had more than five players involved finished with a powerful shot to send the Cafeteros to the next round.
“I’d like to congratulate the whole of Colombia because they deserved this. We made some alterations because we knew how strong our opponents were,” Colombian Coach Jose Pekerman told FIFA.com after the match. “It’s really important to know about the opposition. The main factor [in this win] was the first half, when we were very solid and managed to get ahead. It’s great to have a player like James Rodriguez, and his confidence was very high after our previous game.”
Colombia will now be taking on the host nation Brazil in their first ever quarterfinal match in five World Cup appearances, on Friday, July 4 at Fortaleza. As for Uruguay they will be heading home and only be wondering what could have been if Suárez had not bitten Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in the final game of the group stages.
Highlights to this match can be seen on this link http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=intl:1920394, video provided by ESPN FC.