Saturday, 14th June
vs Greece in Belo Horizonte.
Colombia and Greece have never met at a World Cup Finals although
they did play in New Jersey, prior to USA 1994.
Colombia won the match (2:0) but both teams would be eliminated from
the tournament to follow, at the group stage.
Colombia will miss the injured Falcao at this tournament although
James Rodriguez may be a revelation as Colombia make their first appearance at a World Cup
Finals since France 1998.
Colombia took the lead in the sixth minute, after a Juan Cuadrado cross from the right was
dummied and left for Pablo Armero. His grass-cutting shot was then steered towards Orestis
Karnezis' lower right post, thanks to a slight deflection from Kostas Manolas.
Manolas redeemed himself in the 25th minute, but going forward Greece
struggled to find the creative spark needed to get back on level terms; Georgios Samaras
has now gone sixteen matches without a goal.
A couple of the Colombian players tried to encourage their fans to
turn up the volume when the ball went out of play for a corner or throw-in.
Panagiotis Kone tried to curl the ball into the top corner just before
the break, forcing David Ospina to make his first save of the match for Colombia.
Half-time: Colombia 1 - Greece 0
Greece came out after the break looking a little more lively but
Colombia weren't prepared to just sit back either.
Fernando Santos needed to inject a little something extra and soon made the
first substitution; Ioannis Fetfatzidis of Genoa on for Dimitris Salpingidis, who had just
The substitution did little to unsettle Colombia, who extended their lead when Teofilo
Gutierrez stabbed in a low corner that bounced in the middle of the area; after Karnezis
was already making a dive.
Greece needed to make another substitution.
Just before being substituted, Theofanis Gekas headed onto the bar
from a low vantage point, in front of a gaping goal. He would have plenty of time to watch
that over in his mind, or even on the large screen; from the bench.
Colombia prepared to make their own substitution; Alexander Mejia on for Abel
With twenty minutes left and two goals in front, the South Americans
looked to slow things down and instead of making a double substitution as first intended,
staggered their three changes to drag a little more time out of the clock.
Colombia passed the ball around with ease for the final five
minutes; their fans now united in singing a happy chorus.
From a quickly-taken free-kick, Colombia walz around the defeated Greeks and James
Rodriguez end the show with a left-footed strike.
Olé; olé, olé, olé..... indeed.
Final Score: Colombia 3 - Greece 0
1:0 - Pablo Armero (6 mins)
2:0 - Teofilo Gutierrez (58 mins)
3:0 - James Rodriguez (90 +3 mins)
1-David Ospina; 18-Juan Camilo Zuniga, 2-Cristian Zapata, 3-Mario Yepes, 7-Pablo Armero;
6-Carlos Sanchez, 8-Abel Aguilar, 10-James Rodriguez, 11-Juan Cuadrado; 9-Teofilo
Gutierrez, 14-Victor Ibarbo.
1-Orestis Karnezis; 4-Kostas Manolas, 15-Vasilis Torosidis, 19-Sokratis Papastathopoulos,
20- Jose Holebas; 2-Giannis Maniatis, 21-Kostas Katsouranis, 8-Panagiotis Kone;
14-Dimitris Salpingidis, 17-Theofanis Gekas, 7-Georgios Samaras.
Referee: Mark Geiger - USA
3 yellow cards:
26 mins - Carlos Sanchez (Colombia)
52 mins - Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Greece)
55 mins - Dimitris Salpingidis (Greece)
Côte d'Ivoire vs Japan
2014 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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