With the sides locked at 0-0 and Uruguay defending deep in numbers, Rodriguez chested down the ball with his back to goal, swivelled on the spot and unleashed a fantastic volley that crashed in off the underside of the bar.
There is no doubt about it: Rodriguez’s effort was the best goal of the World Cup so far, combining the audacity of Robin van Persie's diving header with the unstoppable purity of Tim Cahill's volley. The 22-year-old even took his eye off the ball while controlling it on his chest in order to pick his spot for the finish.
If the first was a stunning solo effort, the second was a well-worked team goal. A great cross from Pablo Armero picked out the excellent Juan Cuadrado at the far post and he headed back across for Rodriguez to side-foot home.
Uruguay were toothless in every regard: without the suspended Luis Suarez, the Group D runners-up offered next to no threat going forward themselves - though David Ospina did well to deny Alvaro Pereira late on.
Diego Forlan Colombia Uruguay 2014 AP/LaPresse
Rodriguez’s brace means he is now the tournament’s leading scorer with five goals; he also has seven goals in his last six international matches. Such form will rightly strike fear into the unconvincing Brazil side whose job it will be to control the striker when the two sides meet in their quarter-final in Fortaleza on July 4.
PRE-MATCH: James Rodriguez and Mario Yepes slot straight back in after being rested from the start against Japan. Uruguay are obviously without talismanic forward Luis Suarez, who was sent home and banned from all international football for four months after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini. Diego Forlan fills in for the Liverpool striker.
28’ – STUNNING GOAL FROM JAMES RODRIGUEZ: He chests down with his back to goal, turns and unleashes a dipping left foot volley that crashes in of the underside of the bar. Goal of the tournament contender.
36’ – URUGUAY PENALTY CLAIM: Yepes appears to blatantly block Forlan in the box but both linesman and referee unmoved.
38’ – COLOMBIA CHANCE: Ospina does well to parry Alvaro’s fierce drive.
50’ – GOAL COLOMBIA: This time it’s a really well worked team goal. A great cross from Pablo Armero picks out Cuadrado on the far post and he heads back across for Rodriguez to tap home.
63’ – GOOD SAVE OSPINA: He stretches to palm out Rodriguez’ fierce drive.
79’ – GOOD SAVE OSPINA: It’s an even better save from close range as he reacts to save Pereira’s shot.
83’ - GOOD SAVE OSPINA: Cavani should do better but Ospina is still needed to deflect it round for a corner.
Colombia have never drawn nil-nil at the World Cup finals in their total of 17 games.
James Rodriguez is the first player to score in the first four games of a World Cup since Ronaldo and Rivaldo in 2002.
Rodriguez now has five goals in this World Cup, the number of goals which won the Golden Boot in both 2010 and 2006.
Rodriguez is also the first player to score in each of his first four World Cup games since Christian Vieri in 1998.
Juan Cuadrado has now provided four assists in this World Cup, more than any other player.
Indeed, Cuadrado is the first player to provide four assists in a World Cup since Riquelme and Totti in 2006.
In Serie A 2013/14, Cuadrado managed just five assists in 32 games, just one more than he has already provided in this World Cup.
This is the first time Los Cafeteros have qualified for the quarter-finals of a World Cup.
Uruguay failed to register a single shot on target in the first half against Colombia.
9 of the last 11 goals Uruguay have conceded at the World Cup finals have come in the second half.
The goal of the tournament? Fans of Tim Cahill and Robin van Persie may try and tell you different, but don't believe a word of it. Rodriguez’s thunderbolt had the audacity and vision of Van Persie's goal with the technical purity of Cahill's volley.
MAN OF THE MATCH
James Rodriguez (Colombia): A no-brainer here. James Rodriguez’s brace was good enough to win any match and his movement was exemplary.
Uruguay: Muslera 6, Godin 6, Pereira 6, Rodriguez 7, Forlan 5, Gimenez 6, Pereira 6, Arevalo 7, Gonzalez 6, Cavani 6, Caceres 6. SUBS: Hernandez 6, Stuani 6, Ramirez 6.
Colombia: Ospina 7, Zapata 6, Yepes 6, Sanchez 6, Armero 6, Aguilar 7, Gutierrez 6, Rodriguez 9, Cuadrado 8, Zuniga 6, Martinez 6. SUBS: Guarin 6, Mejia 6, Ramos 6.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- James Rodriguez
- Alvaro Pereira
- David Ospina
- Juan Cuadrado
- Pablo Armero
- Robin van Persie