James Rodriguez scored a brilliant goal andthrashed Japan 4-1 to confirm top spot in Group C and eliminate the Asian champions from the World Cup.

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Already assured of advancing, Colombia guaranteed first place with their third straight win, setting up a second-round match against Uruguay.

The Colombians started with a virtual second-string lineup but still went in front when Juan Cuadrado drilled in a 17th-minute penalty.

Japan equalised with the last touch of the first half through Shinji Okazaki's header but Martinez scored in the 55th and 82nd minutes to put the result beyond doubt.

Rodriguez capped it off with his stunning solo goal in the 89th minute, turning his marker inside out before chipping the advancing goalkeeper with a deft finish that bore all the hallmarks of the great Lionel Messi.

That made it nine goals for Colombia in the group stage, and the South Americans are proving to be the World Cup's big entertainers.


Source: AP