Previous
Juventus
Malmo FF
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Olympiakos
Atletico Madrid
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Liverpool
Ludogorets Razgrad
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
FC Basel
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Bayer Leverkusen
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Benfica
Zenit St Petersburg
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Borussia Dortmund
Arsenal
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Galatasaray
Anderlecht
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Bournemouth
Leeds United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sheffield Wednesday
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Blackpool
Watford
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Brentford
Norwich City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cardiff City
Middlesbrough
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Charlton Athletic
Wolverhampton Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Huddersfield Town
Wigan Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Ipswich Town
Brighton & Hove Albion
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bolton Wanderers
Rotherham United
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Reading
Millwall
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Colchester United
Sheffield United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Doncaster Rovers
Crawley Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Gillingham
Peterborough United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Milton Keynes Dons
Bradford City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Notts County
Leyton Orient
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Port Vale
Bristol City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Preston North End
Chesterfield
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Rochdale
Walsall
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Scunthorpe United
Coventry City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Swindon Town
Oldham Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Yeovil Town
Crewe Alexandra
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Wimbledon
Burton Albion
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bury
Stevenage
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Exeter City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Southend United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Mansfield Town
Morecambe
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Northampton Town
Hartlepool United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Oxford United
Accrington Stanley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Wycombe Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Portsmouth
Dagenham & Redbridge
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shrewsbury Town
Carlisle United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Tranmere Rovers
Newport County
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
York City
Luton Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Aldershot Town
Braintree Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
AFC Telford United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bristol Rovers
Nuneaton Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Chester City
Southport
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dartford
Dover
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Eastleigh
Forest Green Rovers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Halifax
Grimsby Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Altrincham
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Macclesfield Town
Gateshead
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Torquay United
Woking
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Welling
Lincoln City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Barnet
Wrexham
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rangers
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Waterhouse
DC United
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cruz Azul
Chorrillo FC
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Portland Timbers
Olimpia
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Gimnasia La Plata
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Cerro Porteño
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Deportivo Capiatá
Caracas F.C.
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Peñarol
Deportivo Cali
12:30 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Guadalajara
Tijuana
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mérida
Atlante
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Puebla
Morelia
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Celaya
Necaxa
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Zacatepec
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Dorados de Sinaloa
Mineros de Zacatecas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Monterrey
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Toluca
UNAM
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
América Mineiro
Bragantino
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Avaí
Sampaio Correa-MA
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Goianiense
América RN
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Náutico
Joinville
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Paraná Clube
Ceará
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Boa MG
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
ABC
AA Ponte Preta
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Icasa
Vila Nova-GO
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Luverdense
Santa Cruz FC
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Oeste
CR Vasco da Gama
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Al Hilal
Al-Ain
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Bidvest Wits
Amazulu
Postp
Game Details
Kaizer Chiefs
Maritzburg Utd
Postp
Game Details
Next

Three Points: Barcelona vs. Elche

La Liga Aug 24, 2014
Read
John Brewin profile picture Posted by John Brewin
Jun 24, 2014

Three Points: Colombia's class in depth

2014 FIFA World Cup Group C: Japan 1-4 Colombia

CUIABA, Brazil -- Three thoughts from Colombia's 4-1 win over Japan in the final game of Group C.

Colombia's class shines through

Cruising through with much in hand, Colombia joined the Dutch in exiting the group stage with a perfect record. The tournament so far could not have gone any better than it has. Breaking news from Natal suggests that they will be facing an opponent without its toothy talisman.

Only an Ivory Coast landslide against the Greeks in Fortaleza that never came to pass would have prevented them travelling to Rio to face a Uruguay team who will almost certainly be lacking the bite of Luis Suarez. In any case, Uruguay made it out of a poor Group D only by the skin of their teeth. Colombia, on the excellent form of their opening two matches, and their superiority in CONMEBOL qualifying, should have enough to reach their first-ever quarterfinals.

Jackson Martinez, a perennial of transfer window speculation, had first showed why he is not Jose Pekerman's choice to replace Radamel Falcao and why a big move from Porto is yet to happen. He exhibited some clumsiness, and committed one horrible first-half miss. However, he enjoyed his first second-half goal, just reward for his diligent refusal to hide.

Confidence flowed through him after that. James Rodriguez, his former colleague at the Portuguese club, played Martinez through on the right, and, after he set himself, his shot into the opposite corner of the net was beautifully struck. Rodriguez augmented his growing reputation with a neat finish after some wondrous footwork to make it 4-1.

Colombia's supporters, less loud than in Brasilia and perhaps becalmed by the cloying heat of late-afternoon Cuiaba, relocated their voices after Martinez's strike. The arrival of dusk brought about something akin to a victory lap for supporters of Los Cafeteros.

JapanJapan
ColombiaColombia
1
4
FT
Match 37
Game Details

There was even time to break records. The loudest applause of the match came when goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon came on as a late sub. At 43, he becomes the oldest player in World Cup history.

This is already Colombia's finest World Cup, and the quiet town of Cuiaba is in for an all-night party. Fans will be painting the town yellow.

Get past Uruguay, and almost the entire Colombian population could be making its way to Fortaleza to face the winner of Brazil vs. Chile, as those South American teams who have dominated the tournament so far get whittled down at the business end.

Pekerman plays the rotation game

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman switched eight players for his team's final group game and then used halftime to switch around his stars.

The fielding of a reserve team allowed Juan Quintero to play in the No. 10 role where his future surely lies. His cameo as a substitute there against Ivory Coast in Brasilia was thrilling, and from the start in Cuiaba, he was involved, always trying to push for space to begin his arrow-like runs into the heart of the Japanese defence. His influence did not sustain, however, and Pekerman was able to bring on James Rodriguez in his stead.

Most managers would kill for the chance to choose between two such burgeoning talents. Pekerman may find himself accommodating both in Rio, while Juan Cuadrado, also withdrawn at halftime, is competing with Arjen Robben to be the best winger in the tournament. Where the Dutchman is about sudden bursts, the Fiorentina man is a sizable and powerful runner, in the style of Antonio Valencia when he was at his best of three years ago, but with far more in the way of tricks.

James Rodriguez led Colombia's interchangeable horde of young attackers.

Cuadrado also takes a mean penalty, as evidenced by his slashing conversion of the spot kick that Yasuyuki Konno conceded when taking Martinez but not the ball in the 17th minute.

Lack of goals cost Japan

This time, Shinji Kagawa was freed by Alberto Zaccheroni. His World Cup was beginning to resemble his predicament at Manchester United. After all went wrong against the Ivorians, it was he who took the fall.

As at United, there is a more reliable creative influence around. AC Milan's Keisuke Honda is a stronger presence, much more at the centre of matters -- he takes most of their dead balls -- while Kagawa's contributions were intermittent, although often threatening.

The cult of Kagawa that demands a central role must be exasperated by his playing out left for club as well as country, even if it was from that position that he carved Japan's best chance of the first half. Cutting in from his flank, his shot had Colombia keeper David Ospina at severe pains.

Honda proved his creative credentials with the cross that found Shinji Okazaki's head with the very last touch of the first half. It was a goal deserved on the balance of play, even if Japan's promising attacks had usually perished as soon as they reached the Colombian 18-yard box.

- Valderrama: Football owes Pekerman
- Duerden: What's wrong with Shinji Kagawa?

The lack of a proper striker equal to Europe's and South America's finest has always been a hindrance to Japan's performances on the international stage beyond their continent. The skills are there with Kagawa and Honda, while their actual striker in Yoshito Okubo showed himself a player of definite skill but lacking in the nervelessness required at this level.

His failure in the second half to meet Yuto Nagatomo's excellent cross from the overlap was poor, a golden chance to get back in the game quickly after Martinez's first goal. Okazaki later blew an even better chance when skewing over what was an almost open net.

Japan's failure to emulate their 2010 performance of reaching the second round must rank as total disappointment. Although Colombia have been excellent, Ivory Coast have flopped again. The Greeks, always a stumbling block but lacking in quality, could not be penetrated in that 0-0 draw in Recife with Japan that ranks among this tournament's worst games and are now in the second round.

Failing to score goals is the ultimate reason why Zaccheroni and Japan are heading home. Two goals from three matches was never going to be enough.

John Brewin

Based in London, from where he covers the Premier League and Champions League for ESPN FC. He reported from the 2010 and 2014 World Cups and was formerly a senior editor of ESPNsoccernet.