• Colombia 2-0 Uruguay

Rodriguez stunner sees off toothless Uruguay

ESPN staff
June 28, 2014
James Rodriguez slots home Colombia's second to end a fine team move © Getty Images

James Rodriguez scored a wonder goal to set Colombia on their way to a 2-0 victory over Uruguay and into the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time ever.

Monaco midfielder Rodriguez, a £38 million signing from Porto last summer, showed sublime touch and execution as he collected the ball 25-yards out before unleashing an unstoppable volley past Fernando Muslera that cannoned in off the underside of the crossbar.

Rodriguez completed the victory five minutes after half-time when he finished off a fine passing move as a Luis Suarez-less Uruguay looked toothless in front of goal.

Colombia will face Brazil in the last eight after the hosts needed penalties to see off Chile earlier on Saturday.

Rodriguez lets fly for the opener © Getty Images

Initially, Uruguay broke up the game with some muscular tackling as the game struggled to ignite. Colombia's Juan Zuniga did break forward on a lung-busting run but his shot was too straight, into the chest of Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera.

It was honours even until Rodriguez's moment, but after that Uruguay began to show more ambition.

Cavani put in a dangerous cross that Carlos Sanchez just cleared, then the Paris Saint-Germain striker struck a fierce free kick that sailed just over the bar.

Buoyed by that, Uruguay ended the half on the up. Their own Rodriguez, Atletico Madrid midfielder Cristian, tried his only volley but Colombia keeper David Ospina parried it away desperately.

If the first goal had been all about individual excellence, the second was a wonderful team goal.

Rodriguez started the move and several passes saw the ball shifted out to the left flank, where Pablo Armero's cross to the far post found Juan Cuadrado. The Fiorentina midfielder rose majestically to direct a classic header back to the edge of the six-yard box, where Rodriguez was waiting to fire home.

It was looking desperate for Uruguay, even more so when Cristian Rodriguez again found Ospina unbeatable after hitting a low, raking drive from 25 yards.

Cavani then found Christian Stuani with a wicked delivery to the back post, but the substitute striker's header was wide.

Maxi Pereira nearly bundled his way through to score but Ospina came charging out to block.

Colombia now face the hosts in Sao Paulo. It will be James Rodriguez -- who was given a standing ovation when he was substituted with four minutes left -- against Neymar, and on this evidence we are in for a treat.

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