World Cup 2014 – Group C Match Report: Japan 1 – Colombia 4

25 Jun

Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, 43, became the oldest player to ever compete in the World Cup when he was subbed on in the 85th minute.

Japan: Okazaki 45+1’

Colombia: Cuadrado 17’, Martinez 55’ ,82’, Rodriguez 90’

Lineups:

Japan

Kawashima, Uchida, Yoshida, Nagatomo, Okazaki, Kagawa, Okubo, Aoyama, Honda, Konno, Hasebe.

Colombia

Ospina; Arias, Valdés, Balanta, Armero; Cuadrado, Guarín, Mejía, Quintero; Jackson, Ramos.

Coming into this match, Colombia was already guaranteed a spot in the Group of 16. Japan, Greece and Cote d’Ivoire were all battling for the second spot. In order for Japan move on, Japan had to win and Cote d’Ivoire had to lose. If Cote d’Ivoire drew Greece, Japan would have to beat Colombia by at least two to move on. So, no pressure on Japan or anything. I now understand why Kawashima looks like he wants to cry in the squad pic.

Both teams start strong and are clearly in it to win. Then this happens:

Konno takes down Ramos with a nasty tackle, earning himself a card and Colombia a penalty. Even from this grainy video, you can tell it was a beauty from Cuadrado.

 

Cue Colombia dancing. This time, it’s Thriller.

I’m starting to wonder when they rehearse. Is it part of training?

Anyways, the match continues. Both teams have chances, but aren’t able to make anything happen. This continues through the rest of the half. In the one minute of stoppage time, Japan finally connects on a header from Okazaki.

The videos from this match are a bit blah, but I work with what I can. Japan end the half still in it. Greece has pulled ahead of Cote d’Ivoire. If Japan can hold Colombia off and score another, they can move on.

Second half starts with a double change for Colombia. Golden boy James Rodriguez and Carbonero come on. Quintero and Cuadrado go off. Rodriguez comes on like he is on a mission to win it all single handedly. And he has an almost immediate impact. He feigns a shot to confuse the Japanese players (which works), and instead passes to Martinez who scores.

Not good for Japan. Now they have to score 2 more goals to move on. They definitely tried and come close when Okubo takes a shot fired from Uchida, but it’s over the bar. Japan keep up the pressure, but aren’t able to capitalize on set pieces.

Colombia counter and again, it’s a pass from Rodriguez to Martinez that scores a goal.

Didn’t I tell you that these were two to watch in my Group preview? So anyway, now Japan would need to score four goals to move on. It’s the 82nd minute. The match is pretty much over.

Which is what leads Ospina to signal he is coming off. Who needs a keeper? Oh, wait. He’s not hurt. He’s doing something nice. He is allowing Faryd Mondragon to break the record for oldest player to play in the World Cup. Mondragon is 43. He was part of the Colombia team to play in their last World Cup in 1998. The crowd LOVES it.

With one minute left in regular time, Rodriguez puts the proverbial nail in the Japanese coffin with one last goal.

The final standings for Group C:

Group C standings

So Colombia and Greece move on. Cote d’Ivoire and Japan go home.

Colombia will next face Uruguay at 4pm (EDT) on Saturday, June 28th. I will be watching in Nashville, hoping that Colombia can take a bite of Uruguay (I was so angry after yesterday’s match, I couldn’t even think about writing this report).

Anyways, I leave you with some pictures of the Japanese fans, since this is likely the last we will see of them and they are such a lovely bunch. Cue Boyz II Men “End of the Road.”

In Osaka, some fans jumped into a river upon news of the loss. Hopefully, this is just more of that comforting communal bathing.

– Dr. P

One Response to “World Cup 2014 – Group C Match Report: Japan 1 – Colombia 4”

  1. hopechaser June 25, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    Well done Mondragon! I haven’t watched the match yet, in the queue, but heard it was really good.

    And they’re Colombian; they don’t need to practice. Their hips don’t lie!

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