Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (4E Sports) – James Rodriguez scored two goals to push Colombia past Uruguay, 2-0 Saturday at Estádio do Maracanã and take his country into a World Cup quarterfinal for the first time in their history.
The 22-year-old Colombian scored the first goal after 28 minutes after receiving a header from Abel Aguilar, which he controlled with his chest before smashing a volley into the goal.
The Uruguayan side, whick looked weak without Luis Suarez, then put on the pressure.
Hoping to tie the game, Edinson Cavani came in range with a free-kick in the 31st minute but his strike went past the wall and the post.
In the 48th minute, Rodriguez buried a loose ball to put Colombia up 2-0.
Seven minutes later, Rodriguez had another shot at the goal with a free-kick, but he smashes straight into the wall.
Cavani then made a great run near post to get on the end of a corner in the 68th minute, but his flick is up and over the bar.
In the 78th minute, Maxi Pereira gets in behind Colombia’s defenders, but Columbina goalkeeper David Ospina thwarted the shot with his body.
Another free-kick was floated in by Uruguay in the 83rd minute, but this was easily handled by Ospina.
Cavani later forced Ospina into making a save down low.
Rodriguez now has five tournament goals and is surpassing Neymar and Messi as the best player in the tournament.
Colombia plays Brazil in the quarterfinals on July 4.