Japan (0-1-1) vs. Colombia (2-0)
|Date & Time||Tuesday June 24, 2014, 4:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Japan +190
Colombia and Japan will take the field for a Tuesday afternoon World Cup match on ESPN.
Colombia enters this match with a 2-0 record and is pretty much playing for positioning for the next round of the tournament. In Colombia’s most recent match against Ivory Coast, they controlled the ball only 44 percent of the time but still put eight shots on goal and won the game, 2-1. James Rodríguez has been a huge part of Colombia’s somewhat surprising performance, as he’s scored a goal in each of the first two matches. Colombia is doing a great job of playing defense and taking advantage of the opportunities on the offensive end, as they have yet to win the ball possession battle in either match and have still outscored opponents, 5-1.
Japan must win this match, as they lost to Ivory Coast and split in its recent match against Greece. Japan has only scored one goal in its first two games, but it isn’t a lack of trying. In Japan’s draw against Greece, they controlled the ball 68 percent of the time and got an incredible 16 shots off and 11 shots on goal. Alberto Zaccheroni admitted that he’d like to see his team take things to another level and speed the tempo of the game up quicker than they have in the last two matches. Shinji Kagawa, who hasn’t done much in the World Cup, knows he has to be a much bigger factor in this tournament if Japan has any shot.
When you get as many shots on goal as Japan is doing, you have to believe shots are going to start finding the net. I like Japan to have a breakout performance in this match and find the way to win. Colombia may take it a little easier knowing they have already clinched a spot in the next round. Japan is going to be desperate and it should show in their play.
Take Japan for the victory.