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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 June, 2003, 21:25 GMT 22:25 UK
Colombia into last four
Giovanni Hernandez
Hernandez celebrates scoring Colombia's winner
Japan 0-1 Colombia

A Giovanni Hernandez header gave Colombia victory over Japan in Saint-Etienne and took them into the semi-finals of the Confederation Cup.

Hernandez struck in the 68th minute to take the South Americans through at the expense of Japan, who had only needed a draw to qualify.

Colombia will meet either Cameroon, Brazil or Turkey In Thursday's semi-finals.

Japan had their chances, notably when Takahara's header hit the post in the 51st minute with goalkeeper Oscar Cordoba beaten.

But Colombia were the better side and could have made the game more comfortable had Victor Aristizabal or Jorge Lopez been sharper in front of goal.

"Minute by minute, my players are reaching their top level," said Colombia coach Francisco Maturana.

"Advancing in this party will help this team grow. We're here to have fun. Japan was a top-notch opponent and that makes this win even sweeter.

"I'm also happy because this victory gives our country some good news. Colombia is going through a very difficult time."


Japan: Seigo Narazaki; Nobuhisa Yamada, Keisuke Tsuboi, Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, Alessandro Santos; Koji Nakata, Hidetoshi Nakata (captain), Mitsuo Ogasawara (Daisuke Matsui 74), Yasuhito Endo (Daisuke Oku 85); Naohiro Takahara, Yoshito Okubo (Yuichiro Nagai 66)

Colombia: Oscar Cordoba; Jose Mera, Mario Yepes (captain), Gerardo Bedoya, Gonzalo Martinez; Oscar Diaz (Arnulfo Valentierra 46), Jairo Patino, Giovanni Hernandez, Jorge Lopez; Victor Aristizabal, Eudalio Arriaga (Gerardo Vallejo 76)

Referee: Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay).




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