The result means that Japan are out of the World Cup while Columbia finish top of Group C. They will progress to the last 16 together with Greece, who beat Ivory Coast in the other Group C clash.
Japan had just begun to look dangerous in the first half earning a series of corners and free kicks in, when they conceded a penalty in the 15thminute after a needless trip by Yasuyuki Konno on Adrian Ramos
Juan Caudrado had no trouble beating the keeper after he slotted his shot low and to his right.
Japan spent the rest of the half pressing forward trying to find the equaliser. They created a few good chances, Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa came close after he cut inside before firing a powerful shot, which Colombian stopper David Ospina was able to get a hand to.
Japan were eventually rewarded after scoring from the last play of the half.
Shinji Okazaki met Keisuke Honda’s well placed cross with a diving header that beat Ospina, sending Japan into half time with hopes of progressing from the group.
Japan controlled the majority of the possession in the second half, but could not find a goal. Colombia struck in the 54th minute after substitute James Rodriguez set up Jackson Martinez whose shot deflected off Yasuyuki Konno and into the goal.
Japan continued to push forward, looking to come back into the game, but they were always vulnerable to a counter attack and in the 82nd minute Colombia broke well with Rodriguez setting up Martinez who scored his second goal of the game.
The last Colombian goal, which in the came in the 89th minute, was all about Rodriguez’ brilliance. His fancy footwork turned the Colombian defender inside out before he clipped the ball over Kawashima.
Just before the end of the game, Colombia substituted their goalkeeper Ospina by bringing on 43 year old Faryd Mondragon who became the oldest player to play in a World Cup.
Colombia will face Uruguay in the last 16 of the World Cup.