Key to that was an impressive start that saw the 2014 World Cup quarter-finalists race into a 2-0 lead inside half an hour, with both strikes heavily involving captain and talisman James Rodriguez.
Surprisingly selected after overcoming a shoulder problem sustained against the United States, the Real Madrid forward supplied the cross for Carlos Bacca’s opener on 11 minutes and then went on to score himself 20 minutes later, driving home from close range after Edwin Cardona’s clever lay-off under pressure.
From then on, the Colombians had goalkeeper David Ospina to thank for the preservation of their advantage as Paraguay grew in stature leading up to and after the break.
Having seen a Paulo Da Silva header correctly disallowed for offside, the Albirroja were desperately unlucky to see Dario Lezcano’s excellent free-kick palmed onto the bar by the Arsenal stopper on the brink of half-time, the first of a string of impressive saves.
Another would come on the hour mark, launching himself full stretch to claw out a goal bound header from a corner, but there was nothing Ospina could do about Victor Ayala’s screamer on 71 minutes, a goal that confirmed the Albirroja’s dominance of the second period.
The tie swung decisively back in Colombia’s favour just 10 minutes later as Oscar Romero was dismissed for two quickfire bookable offences. A man down, Paraguay continued to push in vain for an equaliser but Cuadrado and co. held firm to seal a second consecutive victory and an all-important place in the knockout round.
In the group’s other game, Jurgen Klinsmann’s USA thrashed Costa Rica 4-0.