The last time these two sides met on World Cup duty it was Los Cafeteros who came out on top courtesy of an impressive 4-1 victory over Japan at Brazil 2014.

When Colombia returned to the World Cup four years ago after missing three successive instalments, they won hearts and minds across the board. Led by star man James Rodriguez, they produced a string of eye-catching performances to advance to the quarter-finals for the first time, eventually going down 2-1 to Brazil in a tightly-contested game. This time around, Jose Pekerman's squad will try to emulate these exploits. And why not? The team have more than enough quality to repeat history and are buoyed by the presence of all-time leading scorer Radamel Falcao, who will be making his debut at the tournament, as injury ruled him out of the previous edition.

Meanwhile, despite only making their first appearance at the World Cup in 1998, Japan have established themselves as a fixture on the global stage. Indeed, this is their sixth successive participation and they are gunning to break new ground by progressing beyond the Round of 16, which they have reached on two occasions (in 2002 and 2010). The Samurai Blue are hoping that their change in the dugout, with local coach Akira Nishino appointed in the wake of a difficult Asian qualifying campaign, can spark an upturn in fortunes.

Japan are winless in their three matches against Colombia. The first encounter was at the FIFA Confederations Cup France 2003, which the South Americans edged 1-0. The second, a friendly in 2007, was a 0-0 draw, while the third was the aforementioned meeting at Brazil 2014, in which Los Cafeteros ran out comfortable winners.