2014 WORLD CUP SOCCER
Kickoff: Tuesday, 4:00 p.m. EDT
Arena Pantanal – Cuiaba, Brazil
Colombia +120, Japan +220, Tie +260
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (Over -105, Under -125)
Japan will need a victory over Group C leader Colombia Tuesday if they are going to have any chance of advancing to the knockout rounds.
Japan played a close game against Ivory Coast in their opening match in group play. They lost 2-1 in the end after leading 1-0 just 16 minutes into the game. They went on to play yet another tight one against Greece in their second match. Colombia has already clinched themselves a spot in the Round of 16 after two big victories to open up group play. With a +4 goal differential, they are a near lock to win the group ahead of Ivory Coast with has three points and a zero goal differential. But Colombia will look to head into the knockout rounds with an undefeated 3-0 record when they play against Japan on Tuesday.
After losing 2-1 to Ivory Coast in their first match, Japan knew that they would need at least a draw in order to keep their hopes alive of advancing on. While the game was far from pretty for either team, it ended up in a 0-0 tie and Japan was able to pick up a crucial point. Despite the game being a tie, Japan really outplayed Greece, outshooting them 11-5 and they dominated the time of possession battle, as they had the ball for 68% of the game. If Japan is able to control play like that again, it’s unlikely they won’t find the back of the net at least once.
Colombia has looked excellent in the World Cup so far and that play has earned them a spot in the Round of 16. After a 3-0 win in their opening match in group play, Colombia had to take on Ivory Coast in what was a very exciting game. The first goal came 64 minutes into the contest when James Rodriguez scored to give Colombia a 1-0 lead. Juan Quintero would make it 2-0 and that would prove to be the difference maker in the game. Ivory Coast scored at the 73-minute mark to cut the lead to one, but they were unable to even it up. Colombia lost the time of possession battle with just 45% and they also were outshot on goal 12-8. The only thing that mattered, however, was that they scored more.