World Cup 2014: Colombia v Cote d’Ivoire

COL 2 – 1 CIV: A thrilling second half at Estádio Nacional de Brasilia between two teams who won their first games in this group was a welcome early morning spectacle here in Melbourne. Coming off the back of an emphatic 3 – 0 win against Greece, Colombia looked to take the game to Côte d’Ivoire who themselves enjoyed a come-from-behind win against Japan. Both teams had plenty of the play in Brasilia and it was an entertaining game between two equally matched sides with little to choose between them. The game came alive after the hour mark when a whipped corner from the impressive Juan Guillermo Cuadrado was met at the near post by Colombian wonder kid James Rodríguez who had wriggled free from marker Didier Drogba to power in the opening goal. The two combined well in the win against Greece and seem to have an imposing understanding that could hurt teams into the latter stages of the competition. Cue another wonderful goal celebration involving the whole team near the dugout after Rodriguez’s strike – lovely stuff. Minutes later a dreadful mistake from Côte d’Ivoire’s FC Basel midfielder Serey Die allowed the industrious Rodriguez to steal the ball off him on the halfway line and his slide-rule pass sent Porto’s Juan Fernando Quintero through and the exciting young forward finished clinically to score his first ever international goal. What a time to make your mark! Quintero has been a revelation at Porto this year and he made a big impact here in what is only his 5th cap for his country. A brilliant solo effort from Gervinho pulled a goal back for Côte d’Ivoire after a skilful run was finished off with a low drive that beat Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina. It was breathtaking stuff in the final 15 minutes as Colombia just about hung on to another famous victory. Colombia progress to the Second Round with optimism and many will look at their young, innovative forward line and fancy them to continue to cause teams problems and score goals. Côte d’Ivoire were architects of their own downfall in a way after poor defending cost them both goals here. The introduction of Max Gradel added little to their attack and Didier Drogba failed to impact the game at all after he replaced Bony on the hour. However, their final game is against a disappointing Greek side and they will feel confident in progressing along with Colombia. Now, Come on England…

Dancing Colombians
Dancing Colombians

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