COLOMBIA 3-0 GREECE
SATURDAY 14TH JUNE – BELO HORIZONTE
Belo Horizonte today was painted yellow, but not with the colours of Brazil but the wonderful vibrancy of the Colombian fans. The team gave their travelling supporters something to celebrate after a more than comfortable 3-0 win over Greece in their opening game of Group C.
As Greece were happy to sit back in the opening moments of the game, Colombia exploded out of the blocks and left-back Pablo Armero was the unlikely scorer of the opening goal after just six minutes of play. Great movement from Juan Cuadrado down the right wing as he fed the ball into the penalty area, Monaco playmaker James Rodriguez dummied the pass which fed into the West Ham defender. Armero kept his cool and sidefooted the ball towards goal which took a deflection and crept pass Orestis Karnezis in goal. This was just the defender’s second goal in 54 appearances for his country.
The Colombians players raced off to the bench to celebrate, whereupon the entire squad broke into a synchronised dance. It was an amazing scene in front of incredible support of the sea of yellow shirts partying inside the Estadio Mineirão.
Just before the hour mark, Los Cafeteros doubled their lead. Rodriguez whipped in a poor corner towards the front post that needed a flick on by Abel Aguilar before Teofilo Gutiérrez poked the ball home. No dancing this time but the same jubilation from the capacity crowd. All that aside it was terrible defending from the Greeks.
The Greeks attacks were poor throughout including just after the Colombian second goal. Jose Pekerman’s boys were caught napping by a cross to the far post, where substitute Ioannis Fetfazidis was unmarked. The winger nodded the ball across goal to Theofanis Gekas, who powered a free header against the bar from six yards out. Poor displays from Georgios Samaras and Gekas did not help Greece’s cause and the latter was subbed off on 63 minutes for Fulham striker Kostas Mitroglou, who also failed to make any impact.
James Rodriguez put the icing on the cake in stoppage time with a third goal to send the crowd into raptures and send his side back to their camp in Cotia, Sao Paulo with a 3-0 victory. This was 90-minute party for the Colombians.
COLOMBIA: Ospina, Zuñiga, Zapata, Yepes, Sánchez, Armero (Arias 74), Aguilar (Mejia 67), Rodriguez, Cuadrado, Ibarbo, Gutiérrez (Martinez 76).
GOALS: Armero 6, Gutiérrez 58, Rodriguez 90+3.
BOOKINGS: Sánchez 26.
GREECE: Karnezis, Torosidis, Manolas, Sokratis, Holebas, Katsouranis, Salpingidis (Fetfatzidis 57), Kone (Karagounis 78), Maniatis, Samaras, Gekas (Mitroglou 63).
BOOKINGS: Sokratis 52, Salpingidis 55.
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