Colombia have sneaked through to the last 16 at New Zealand 2015 on goal difference after a 3-1 defeat to Portugal that maintains the Europeans' flawless record thus far. Helio Sousa's side were deserved and comprehensive winners in a match that underlined their credentials as genuine title contenders.
The first half was a disappointingly low-key affair but there were a couple of moments of genuine quality, most notably when Nuno Santos gave the Europeans a third-minute lead. It was the latest superb free-kick in a tournament crammed full of them, with the Portugal No11 adapting to a position just outside the box with a ferocious left-foot drive around the wall and high into the Colombian net.
Los Cafateros' first decent effort, 27 minutes later, also came from a dead ball. Joao Rodriguez was the man responsible on this occasion, curling a 30-yard effort up and over the wall only to see the ball drop just a few inches wide of the left-hand post.
Portugal remained in control of the match, though, and it was no surprise when they went two ahead nine minutes into the second half. The goal came from the penalty spot, and the award was inevitable after goalkeeper Alvaro Montero rushed from his goal to crash wildly into Andre Silva. The Portugal No9 dusted himself down to assume responsibility and coolly sent the keeper the wrong way, side-footing low into the right-hand corner.
Silva has been one of the stars of Portugal's campaign thus far and on 67 minutes he doubled his tally with third goal of the tournament. Again, Montero did not cover himself in glory, racing from his line only to completely miss Nuno Santos's teasing cross from the left. Silva, though, deserved great credit for directing a looping header back towards goal so accurate that even Davinson Sanchez, covering on the line, could not prevent it dropping in.
The only disappointment for Portugal on an otherwise perfect afternoon was the blemish applied to their erstwhile perfect defensive record. That came in the shape of an ultimately crucial consolation goal for Colombia, with Jarlan Barrera threading a pass through for Santos Borre to pick his spot in the bottom corner with a precise left-foot finish.