Colombia thrash Japan 4-1 to top group

  • HT Correspondent/Reuters, Cuiaba/ New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 25, 2014 05:41 IST

Jackson Martinez scored twice as Colombia beat Japan 4-1 to top World Cup Group C with maximum points on Tuesday, earning a second-round meeting with Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro and ending Japan's interest in the tournament.



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Colombian player Jackson Martinez and Japan's Yoshito Okubo react after the match (AFP photo)

Already assured of progress, Colombia went ahead with a 17th-minute Juan Cuadrado penalty, only for Shinji Okazaki to equalise with a diving header before the break as Japan sought the win they needed to have any chance of progressing.

Martinez restored Colombia's lead with a sharp strike after 55 minutes and then produced a cool finish to make it 3-1 eight minutes from time before James Rodriguez added a delightful fourth goal with a clever run and chip over the keeper.



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Colombian player James Rodriguez and Japan's Kagawa react after the match (AFP photo)

Colombia, who are in the last 16 for the first time since 1990, finished on nine points with Greece going through in second place to face Costa Rica after their 2-1 win over the Ivory Coast. Japan were bottom with one point.

Live Blog World Cup Group C: Japan vs Colombia

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