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Uruguay was not able to overcome the loss of Luis Suarez to suspension as the two-time World Cup champions fell to Colombia 2-0 in the round of 16.
James Rodríguez scored both goals for Colombia, including one that will be in the running for goal of the tournament, as they defeated their South American rivals to set up a quarterfinals match with Brazil on July 4. It is the first time that Colombia has reached the quarterfinals, and it is well deserved as they have outscored their opponents 11-2 in their four matches, which have all been wins.
Image courtesy of INFphoto.comThe game could have been a match-up between two of the world's most exciting players had Luis Suarez not been handed a four-month suspension for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay's 1-0 on June 24. FIFA.com told why they decided to bring down such a harsh penalty on the ever controversial Liverpool man.
Uruguay took a more defensive approach to the game without their primary goalscorer, but it was not able to stop James, who is now the tournament's top goalscorer with five. Even without Suarez however, Uruguay did look threatening in the first half, but were unable to capitalize on the chances they created early on. They would pay the price for that in the 28th minute when James struck for the first time. The 22-year-old who plays his club soccer for Monaco controlled a pass with his chest before volleying a shot off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net.
Colombia had to be feeling good about themselves at halftime with a 1-0 lead and Uruguay having trouble finishing. They would then feel even better just five minutes into the second half as James struck again, only this time he would actually need a hand from his teammates. After working the ball into a dangerous position with several impressive passes, Juan Guillermo headed a pass right into James's path and he tapped the ball pass Uruguayan keeper, Fernando Muslera.
Uruguay managed to get nine shots on target throughout the game, but nobody was able to step up in Suarez's absence and get them on the scoreboard. CBS Sports also provides a recap of the game.
This Colombian team has already made history for their country by reaching the quarterfinals, but they do not want to stop now. Brazil looked vulnerable against Chile, and Colombia certainly has enough talent to upset the hosts. James versus Neymar, July 4 cannot come soon enough.