With Colombia already qualified to the next round, they face a Japan outfit who will be desperate to win to keep their own hopes of qualification alive.
Where to watch –
For viewers in USA, this is where they can catch the kickoff at 4 PM EST/1 PM PST –
Pedro Proenca (Portugal)
Starting lineups –
Japan: Kawashima, Uchida, Yoshida, Nagatomo, Okazaki, Kagawa, Okubo, Aoyama, Honda, Konno, Hasebe.
Colombia: Ospina; Arias, Valdés, Balanta, Armero; Cuadrado, Guarín, Mejía, Quintero; Jackson, Ramos.
The Japanese come into this game hoping and praying that Colombia will be in a laid back mood. However, their destiny is out of their hands now, and for them to progress, they will be hoping that Greece can somehow manage to beat Ivory Coast in today’s other fixture.
2 wins out of 2 games has seen them reach the Round of 16 already. Today’s game is a dead rubber for them, and could be a possible opportunity for them to tinker around with their formation and personnel. Seeing a much changed Colombia side could be a possibility.
While analyzing the two teams over the course of their first 2 games, the Japanese have made more successful passes and a higher pass completion rate than Colombia. While the amount of shots taken on goal are nearly on par, however Japan’s shot accuracy is a poor 40% compared to Colombia’s 60%. That’s one reason as to why Japan have also been so goal shy, as they have only scored 1 goal in 2 matches, compared to Colombia’s 5.
Defensively as well, Colombia have only let in just 1 goal compared to Japan’s 2.
Man to watch –
Winger James Rodriguez has had a great World Cup, scoring in both his games thus far. He will be looking to make a hat-trick, and will be an obvious threat for Japan.
The onus on making and scoring goals for Japan will be on playmaker Keisuke Honda, who has scored Japan’s only goal in the World Cup.
Japan need a win tonight and hope that Greece manage to beat Ivory Coast, in order for them to progress. Will it happen? I have serious doubts. I do not expect them to win tonight, let alone take things onto the Greece vs Ivory Coast game.