In Colombia’s first World Cup game in 16-years, they show the world that they can score plenty of goals without star forward Radamel Falcao, beating Greece easily 3-0.
Byline: Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
BELO HORIZONTE– Los Cafeteros took over the match the minute the referee started the game, getting on the scoreboard within the first five minutes of the match to show their authority over Greece on Saturday.
In the fourth minute Colombia scored their first goal in a World Cup since June 22, 1998. Defender Pablo Armero ran to a ball rolling in the heart of the penalty box, he struck the ball immediately towards the net.
The shot seemed destined to be saved, but a slight deflection threw Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis off, and the ball rolled into the net, giving the Colombians the early 1-0 lead.
Their small lead would carry for the rest of the first half. A key reason for that was because Karnezis made three saves to keep Greece in the match.
However, in the second half Los Cafeteros would put the game away quickly and swiftly. In the 58 minute, Teófilo Gutiérrez would give Colombia a 2-0 lead with a powerful volley shot, while making a run to the mouth of the goal.
He received an accurate cross from midfielder James Rodriguez, and without any hesitation Teo powered the ball into the back of the net, giving Karnezis no chance of stopping the shot.
After that goal, the Colombians went on cruise control for the rest of the match. As every minute went by they got closer and closer to getting a victory on their opening match, for the first time since the 1990 World Cup. However, Rodriguez wanted to get a goal for himself before the match ended.
In the 93 minute, with only seconds left in the match, Jay Rodriguez received the ball from a brilliant back flick pass in the top of the box. The midfielder than gathered his footing and guided the ball with a finesse shot to the bottom left hand corner of the net.
The Greek goalkeeper was able to get a hand on the ball, but the ball would roll into the back of the net regardless, and seal the victory for Colombia with a 3-0 score line.
“It was a good debut with players who had never played a World Cup,” Colombia Coach José Pékerman told the New York Times, about getting the victory against Greece. “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.”
Colombia next match will be against the Ivory Coast on Thursday, June 19 at the Estadio Nacional located in the capital of Brazil, Brasilia. A victory against the West African nation will secure their place in the second round for the first time since 1990.
As for Greece, their next match will be on Thursday as well, but they will be facing Japan at the Arena das Dunas in Natal. Losing against the island nation of Japan will most likely eliminate the Greeks from the World Cup.
The highlights of this match can be seen on this link http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=intl:1880788, video provided by ESPN FC.