GROUP C's seeds qualified for the finals in tremendous style, the introduction of Argentinian manager Jose Pekerman after just three games clearly having a positive effect on the squad.


Outright odds: 33/1

To win group: 17/20

To qualify: 2/7


Full squad: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Independiente Santa Fe), Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Pablo Armero (West Ham), Cristian Zapata (Milan), Mario Yepes (Atalanta), Carlos Valdes (San Lorenzo), Santiago Arias (PSV), Eder Alvarez Balanta (River Plate), James Rodriguez (Monaco), Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Carlos Sanchez (Elche), Fredy Guarin (Inter Milan), Juan Fernando Quintero (Porto), Aldo Ramirez (Morelia), Alex Mejia (Atleico Nacional), Victor Ibarbo (Cagliari), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Fiorentina), Jackson Martinez (Porto), Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Adrian Ramos (Borussia Dortmund).

Manager: Jose Pekerman

World Cup record: Last 16 (1990), Group stage (1962, 1994, 1998)

How they qualified (most recent first): Colombia reached the finals in good style as runners-up in the nine-strong South American zone, winning nine of their 16 games and finishing just two points behind winners Argentina.

v Paraguay (away) 2-1 (HT 1-1) Yepes 38, 56

v Chile (home) 3-3 (HT 0-3) T Gutierrez 69 Falcao 74, 83

v Uruguay (away) 0-2 (HT 0-0)

v Ecuador (home) 1-0 (HT 1-0) J Rodriguez 30

v Peru (home) 2-0 (HT 2-0) Falcao 12 T Gutierrez 45

v Argentina (away) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v Venezuela (away) 0-1 (HT 1-0)

v Bolivia (home) 5-0 (HT 1-0) Torres 20 Valdez 49 T Gutierrez 62 Falcao 86 Armero 90+2

v Paraguay (home) 2-0 (HT 0-0) Falcao 52, 89

v Chile (away) 3-1 (HT 0-1) J Rodriguez 58 Falcao 73 T Gutierrez 76

v Uruguay (home) 4-0 (HT 1-0) Falcao 2 T Gutierrez 47, 51 Zuniga 90

v Ecuador (away) 0-1 (HT 0-0)

v Peru (away) 1-0 (HT 0-0) J Rodriguez 51

v Argentina (home) 1-2 (HT 1-0) Pabon 44

v Venezuela (home) 1-1 (HT 1-0) Guarin 11

v Bolivia (away) 2-1 (HT 0-0) Pabon 48, Falcao 90+3

Goalscorers: Radamel Falcao led the way with an impressive nine goals, three of which came from the penalty spot. However, the star striker will miss the tournament after failing to recover from a knee ligament injury sustained in January.

Teofilo Gutierrez found the net six times and James Rodriguez three. Dorlan Pabon and Mario Yepes were the only others Colombians to score more than once in qualification. Falcao opened the scoring in three games, with five of his nine goals coming in the second half of matches.

Half-time/full-time: Four of Colombia's wins came when they led at half-time. One saw them come from behind at the break and the other four victories came after they were all square at the interval. In their three games that ended a draw, there was an even split between winning, losing and drawing at the break.

Clean sheets: Colombia kept seven clean sheets in total, including shut-outs against Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. No side in the South American Zone conceded fewer goals than their 13.

Win to nil: Six of Colombia's nine victories were to nil, including a 4-0 home victory over Uruguay. After conceding in their first three qualification games, there was distinct upturn in their defensive record, although only one of the six wins to nil came away from home.

Cards: Counting reds as two, Colombia games produced 105 cards at just over 6.5 per game. Colombia received three red cards in their 16 qualifiers.

Other competitive internationals: None in the qualification period - the last continental tournament in South America (Copa America) was back in 2011.

Build-up (most recent 1st): Since completing their qualification campaign with a 2-1 victory in Paraguay, Colombia have beaten Belgium and drawn with the Netherlands in international friendlies.

v Senegal (neutral) 2-2 (HT 2-0) Gutierrez 12, Bacca 45

v Tunisia (home) 1-1 (HT 1-1) J Rodriguez 20

v Netherlands (away) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v Belgium (away) 2-0 (HT 0-0) Falcao 51 Ibardo 66

Team verdict: Group C's seeds qualified for the finals in tremendous style, the introduction of Argentinian manager Jose Pekerman after just three games clearly having a positive effect on the squad.

Their fine blend of defensive solidarity and dangerous strikeforce saw them finish second in the South American zone, just two points behind Argentina.

Radamel Falcao is a big loss. However, Monaco team-mate James Rodriguez, River Plate's Teofilo Gutierrez and Porto forward Jackson Martinez are able deputies in the attacking department and Colombia should score enough goals to progress from a group also including Japan, Ivory Coast and Greece.

Winning Group C looks very achievable and, should they do so, they would face the runners-up of England's group and a potential clash with Uruguay, against whom they had mixed results in the qualifiers - winning 4-0 at home and losing 2-0 in the corresponding tie.