Fiji Time: 1:02 AM on Thursday 23 February

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Colombia dazzles in World Cup opener

AP
Sunday, June 15, 2014

Update: 8:35AM Colombia started its first World Cup campaign in 16 years in dazzling fashion, beating Greece 3-0 to open Group C overnight (FT) in front of a big, loud pro-Colombian crowd.

Left back Armero opened the scoring in the fifth minute when his deflected shot rolled past Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis. Striker Teofilo Gutierrez poked in Colombia's second goal from a deflected corner in the 58th and James Rodriguez capped it off with a low shot in stoppage time after a slick backheel flick from Juan Cuadrado.

Colombia's pace and trickery were too much for Greece to handle in the latter stages as the 57,174 crowd, most dressed in bright yellow shirts, constantly chanted "Ole, ole" at Estadio Mineriao.

"It was a good debut with players who had never played a World Cup. It's a big satisfaction," Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said. "This is how we planned this match. Some things turned out the way we wanted, some things didn't, but we were very focused and showed that we're here to play a good World Cup."

"It's a good start, but we have to be calm for what's ahead, which will be even more difficult," he said, looking ahead at Group C matches against Ivory Coast and Japan.

Greece had the majority of possession with 54 percent, but whenever Colombia players got hold of the ball, they blazed down the flanks and through the middle of the pitch, disorientating their opponents.

The Greeks had a chance to pull a goal back after Gutierrez scored, but an unmarked Georgios Samaras rattled the crossbar from two yards out.

There were other chances, too. Panagiotis Kone's shot went just wide in the first half. Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina then made an outstanding reaction save to deny Kone just before halftime.

"You can't make excuses when you lose 3-0," Greece coach Fernando Santos said. "We had good spells of play and all we can do now is look at the next matches."

Kone said Greece didn't make the most of its possession and the chances it created.

"The score doesn't show it, but I think we played well," he said. "But these games are turned on the details, and they didn't work for us today. We're still proud to be here, and we'll continue to play hard."

Greece defenders started getting frustrated with Colombia's pace in the second half and began to foul the South Americans, with two players picked up yellow cards within minutes.

The result will give Colombia confidence that it can win competitive matches without star striker Radamel Falcao, who was ruled out after failing to recover from a serious knee injury. The other Group C teams, Ivory Coast and Japan, were playing later Saturday.

Greece will now have to regroup ahead of its second match against Japan after its notoriously solid defense leaked three goals.








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.64320.6242
JPY 56.218853.2188
GBP 0.39090.3829
EUR 0.46350.4515
NZD 0.68940.6564
AUD 0.64020.6152
USD 0.49140.4744

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 22th February, 2017

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. 2 dead in 48 hours
  2. Depression intensifies, expect heavy rain, wind
  3. Lucky escape for motorists
  4. Four-day walk for suffering brothers
  5. Countdown back to Parliament for Tui Cakau
  6. Seat in the House for Parmod Chand
  7. Call for election
  8. PRB pays out bonus
  9. Census crew to use tablet devices
  10. Women's hard work acknowledged

Top Stories this Week

  1. Villagers burn objects used for 'witchcraft' at village cleansing Saturday (18 Feb)
  2. Man dies in custody Saturday (18 Feb)
  3. Family given son's post mortem exam results Monday (20 Feb)
  4. Life in prison Thursday (16 Feb)
  5. A lifetime try as Jasa weds sweetheart Saturday (18 Feb)
  6. Qoro resigns as exchange boss Tuesday (21 Feb)
  7. $95,000 payout Monday (20 Feb)
  8. No more sleeping in car Saturday (18 Feb)
  9. 2 dead in 48 hours Wednesday (22 Feb)
  10. Acid leak at lami Thursday (16 Feb)