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World Cup Preview: Colombia vs. Uruguay

by Photo of Matthew Golda

Uruguay looks to move past the Suarez incident in South American clash against Colombia

World Cup Preview: Colombia vs. Uruguay

When and Where

4 PM ET, Estadio Do Maracana, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

How They Got Here

Colombia's group was fairly lackluster. They opened their first World Cup since 1998 with a 3-0 win over Greece. It was clear from the beginning that this team gelled. They have also shown they can clearly bust a move. Their next match was against the Ivory Coast and they beat them 2-1 in another game where they just seemed so dangerous. After that win, they were through to the next round, needing only a draw against Japan to win the group. They went on to beat Japan 4-1. 

Clearly, this is a team to be reckoned with. They have outscored their opponents 9-2 and have looked impressive. Again, they had an easy run, but winning is winning and going 3-0-0 and outscoring your opponents by seven goals is fantastic. James Rodriguez and Jackson Martinez have been the spark plugs we all thought they would be, and then some. This team is solid and it is the second time they have reached the round of sixteen. Their other occurred in 1990, where they were ousted by Cameroon.

Then there's Uruguay, whose route was much less conventional. In a group dubbed "The Group of Champions," Uruguay opened their World Cup with a shocking 3-1 loss to Costa Rica, the team that went on to win the group (also shocking). Uruguay also played that match without star Luis Suarez, something they will have to get used to quickly as he is out for the remainder of the World Cup due to biting. The Uruguayans rebounded in their next match against England, as Suarez saved the day by scoring two goals, including this firecracker of a game-winner. Going into their final match against Italy, they needed a win and a win, albeit controversial, is what they got. Captain Diego Godín headed in a corner giving Uruguay the goal they needed. Now they need to figure out how to score goals without Luis Suarez.  

Key Players

James Rodriguez, Colombia

Talk about a coming out party. The 22-year-old Rodriguez has a team high 3 goals and has been dynamite for the Colombians this World Cup. Many thought Jackson Martinez would be the guy for them. Martinez has been good, but Rodriguez has been great. He could cause some serious problems for the Uruguayans in this match. He is such a smooth ball handler and has excellent touch around the net. Just a super player right now.

Edinson Cavani, Uruguay

With Luis Suarez out for the rest of the World Cup, the pressure shifts to Cavani. He is now presumably the guy the Uruguayans will lean on moving forward to score the big goal. He has seemingly lacked the ability to make dangerous runs and needs to step up if Uruguay has any hopes of moving forward. He does have a goal this World Cup, but it was only on a penalty kick. It still counts, but he needs to score a live goal if Uruguay wants to win.

Match Prediction

Colombia wins 3-1

Uruguay only has 4 goals in this World Cup. Two are from Suarez, who is no longer on the team. One was of the penalty kick variety, and the other was off a corner only one minute after Suarez bit Giorgio Cheillini, who should have been immediately red carded, meaning each team would have been playing ten aside. That didn't happen and was a huge break. But what I'm really saying here is, Uruguay seems pretty helpless to score goals without their top striker and Colombia has scored nine times, scoring at least twice in every match. I don't see Uruguay being able to match Colombia's goal-scorers, not without Suarez.

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