This is a tasty match between two South American heavyweights in Rio de Janeiro. Expectations for Colombia lowered before the tournament when star striker Radamel Falcao was ruled out with an injury. However, Colombia didn’t skip a beat with victories over Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan. Not the best opponents but they have put the world on notice with their stylish goals and celebrations. Uruguay had a roller coaster group stage. They were shocked by Costa Rica 3-1 in the first match but followed that up with wins over England and Italy. However, striker Luis Suarez is banned for the rest of the World Cup after biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.
Colombia has had many contributors to their outstanding play. Veteran defender Mario Yepes has held up well and led the back line. Midfielder Juan Cuadrado has three assists this tournament. The breakout player on Colombia and maybe this whole World Cup is James Rodriguez. The 22-year-old has three goals and two assists. Uruguay will clearly miss Suarez for this match. Edison Cavani is a great striker but benefits from playing with Suarez. Diego Forlan could play a role in this match but he struggled against Costa Rica, and is past his best playing days. The center back partnership of Diego Lugano and 19-year-old Jose Maria Gimenez were strong against England and Italy. A lot will be expected from the two Atletico Madrid defenders against Colombia.
Prediction: Colombia 2, Uruguay 0
Uruguay will miss Suarez and I don’t see them rallying together after his hefty ban.