Ivory Coast, meanwhile, again left talisman Didier Drogba on the bench - the former Chelsea striker carrying a thigh injury, but still had an impact as a substitute in the 2-1 win over Japan in Recife.
It was Los Cafetero who made the more positive opening, with Teofilo Gutierrez firing wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Ivory Coast defender Didier Zokora needed to make an important block after Juan Cuadrado had got away down the right.
On 23 minutes, there was the first opening for the Elephants when a powerful run from captain Yaya Toure released Gervinho, but he was quickly hustled off the ball.
Colombia should have been ahead on the half-hour when a counter attack down the left saw the ball played into the penalty area for Gutierrez.
However, the River Plate forward, who looked to be offside, made a complete hash of his shot from six-yards out and stabbed the ball wide.
Colombia, however, doubled their lead on 70 minutes with a breakaway goal.
Gutierrez fed Juan Quintero as the pair closed down some poor Ivory Coast defending on the half-way line.
The Porto forward took the ball on to the edge of the penalty area before drilling it past Barry.
Ivory Coast needed a response - and got one through Gervinho's second goal of the World Cup on 73 minutes.
The winger, much maliged during his spell with the Gunners, collected the ball on the left and weaved into the penalty area, rode three challenges before smashing a shot inside the near post which Ospina got a hand to but could not keep out.
Ivory Coast were lifted by the goal, and went in search of an equaliser, substitute Mathis Bolly just unable to guide a diving header on target before Kalou shot straight at the goalkeeper.