Jeremain Lens was dismissed in the first half but Louis van Gaal's men held on in the end.
In a game of few chances, the main talking point came 10 minutes before halftime when the hosts saw Jeremain Lens given a straight red card for an altercation with Colombia defender Pablo Armero.
The Dynamo Kiev forward was dismissed for raising his hands to Armero, who was fortunate not to see red himself for the stamp that brought about Lens' reaction.
Louis van Gaal made four changes from the side that drew 2-2 with Japan on Saturday with Arjen Robben among those to be rested, while Colombia coach Jose Pekerman brought in three new faces from Thursday's 2-0 win over Belgium.
The hosts started the brighter and went close to taking the lead in the seventh minute when Rafael van der Vaart struck the post with a dipping effort from 25 yards, with Siem de Jong stabbing the rebound wide from six yards with the goal gaping.
Nine minutes later, Netherlands was almost gifted the advantage, Lens stretching to reach a weak defensive header ahead of goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, but his poked attempt went just wide of the post.
However, Lens' evening then turned sour when he saw red following the confrontation with Armero.
After the pair challenged for a ball in the box, the defender appeared to stamp on Lens, who reacted by pushing Armero to the ground, earning a straight red card while the Colombian went unpunished.
Four minutes later, Santiago Arias was lucky to only receive a yellow card after leading with his forearm in an aerial duel with Daley Blind, and a minute before halftime Abel Aguilar was cautioned for a cynical scythe on Van der Vaart - a challenge that saw the Hamburg midfielder leave the field injured.
Colombia tested Jasper Cillessen for the first time a minute into the second period, the goalkeeper parrying Radamel Falcao's effort from a tight angle.
Dutch substitute Leroy Fer's goalbound volley was then blocked by the legs of Cristian Zapata in the 63rd minute as the home side looked to record their fourth home win on the spin.
The last chance of the game fell to the visitors, though, as Falcao crossed for James Rodriguez 12 minutes from time, but his header from 10 yards was well held by Cillessen as the first ever meeting between the sides ended goalless.