June 24, 2014 6:05 pm

WORLD CUP: Colombia overwhelm Japan to claim Group C crown

Colombia's forward Jackson Martinez celebrates after socring his second goal during the Group C football match between Japan.

TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

CUIABA, Brazil – Substitute James Rodriguez scored a brilliant goal and set up two more for Jackson Martinez as Colombia beat Japan 4-1 on Tuesday to confirm top spot in Group C and eliminate the Asian champions from the World Cup.

Already assured of advancing, Colombia guaranteed first place with its third straight win, setting up a second-round match against Uruguay.

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SEE MORE: Complete scores and group standings 

The Colombians started with a virtual second-string lineup but still went in front when Juan Cuadrado – one of the few regular starters – drilled in a 17th-minute penalty.

Japan equalized with the last touch of the first half through Shinji Okazaki’s header but Martinez scored in the 55th and 82nd minutes – both from superb passes from Rodriguez – to put the result beyond doubt.

GROUP C FINAL STANDINGS

Group C, final standings 2014 World Cup

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