Santos forward Neymar scored a second-half equaliser for Brazil but then spurned a golden chance to win this friendly, which was played in the United States.
Colombia were the first to settle in New Jersey's Metlife Stadium as they showed why they have been impressing in the World Cup qualifiers so far.
But even as they built up pressure, it was Brazil who created the first clear chance, with Kaka breaking through only to strike the ball against the crossbar.
Colombia snatched the lead just before half time when James Rodriguez crossed for Juan-Guillermo Cuadrado, and his shot went in off the right-hand post.
Brazil were much improved in the second half and set about attacking David Ospina's goal.
The Colombia goalkeeper had to be alert to keep out Neymar's effort on the hour mark after the forward had beaten three defenders.
But only three minutes later, Neymar got his goal, beating two before firing beyond the reach of Ospina.
He was handed the chance to win it 11 minutes from time when Pablo Armero fouled Daniel Alves in the penalty area and the referee blew for a spot-kick, only or Neymar to blaze over.
Afterwards, the striker blamed the surface in the stadium, home to both the New York Jets and New York Giants NFL teams.
"It was a horrible shot," he told Globoesporte.com. "The grass was not settled but sometimes it happens.
"The pitch was not good to take a penalty properly, but I was happy with our performance. It was a tough game and we can do better if we fix a few details."
Brazil's next match pits them against Argentina in Buenos Aires next Wednesday, with only players who play in their domestic leagues eligible for selection.