World Cup 2014

Japan vs. Colombia: 2014 FIFA World Cup | Group C Match Preview

Japan vs. Colombia
2014 FIFA World Cup
June 24 | 4 pm ET | Estadio das Dunas, Natal, Brazil
TV: ESPN, Univision, SportsNet in Canada

 

Tournament darlings Colombia come into their final group game with the job already done. They have advanced to the Round of 16, but they can ensure it's at the first-place team in the group. In order for Japan to join Colombia they will need to win and then get some help from the other game, Ivory Coast-Greece.

–-

MAS JAMES: The breakout young star of this tournament has been James Rodriguez. The 22-year-old Colombian has been a must-watch every time he steps on the field and leads some interesting dance routines. This game will be yet another chance to watch the AS Monaco starlet put his name in the running for the Golden Ball.

LACKING CREATIVITY: In one of the dullest games of the tournament so far, the Japanese drew with Greece despite playing against 10 men for over 60 minutes. The Blue Samurais registered just three shots on target in those 60 minutes and generally lacked ideas on how to score against the organized Greek defense. They will need to have some more ideas against Colombia if they hope to advance.

TRASH MEN: Despite the team underperforming on the field Japan is getting worldwide attention for something else: their fans. In both of their games in this tournament Japanese fans have brought blue trash bags into the stadium, using them like rally towels. But after the games the clean up after themselves, disposing all of their garbage into the bags. So even if they don’t get the result they want, they will not make a mess of themselves.

–-

THE STAR YOU KNOW

  • Keisuke Honda, midfielder, Japan – He scored against the Ivory Coast, but the 28-year-old will had just one shot on target and no chances created against Greece. He will need to step up his game if he hopes to get his country to the Round of 16 for the second straight tournament.

THE PLAYER WHO WILL SURPRISE YOU

  • Juan Cuadrado, midfielder, Colombia – The winger has shown his speed and technical ability so far in this tournament. Look for him to score his first World Cup goal after collecting three assists so far.