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World Cup 2014

Colombia 3 Greece 0: Highlights, key battles, and what the result means

Published on Jun 15, 2014 2:38 AM
Colombia's forward Teofilo Gutierrez (left) celebrates with Colombia's defender Cristian Zapata after scoring during a Group C football match between Colombia and Greece at the Mineirao Arena in Belo Horizonte during the 2014 Fifa World Cup on June 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

No Falcao, no problem.

Colombia answered the biggest query before the start of this game by showing they were not short of good and effective attacking options.

Buoyed by a sea of yellow - fans who have made the short trip from across the border - the Los Cafeteros put three past Greece for a solid start in their first appearance at the World Cup finals since 1998.


- Defender Pablo Armero took just five minutes to score the fastest goal in Colombia's World Cup history, but his goal celebration - dancing on the touchline with his team-mates - after that was much more memorable.

- The pace, movement and ability of Colombia's front four to attack on the break was a delight to watch. They wreaked havoc around the Greeks, who struggled to cope with their opponents' energy levels.

- Greeks dominated possession and completed more passes, but failed in the one statistic that matters - finding the back of the net. Players like Georgios Samaras and Theofanis Gekas had their chances, but squandered them.

Key battles

- Greece are a side that don't concede many goals. They kept more clean sheets in qualifying than any other European team. But Colombia's front four - Gutierrez, Cuadrado, Rodriguez and Ibarbo - plus their own steely defense made sure the only clean sheet of the night was theirs.

Man of the Match

- James Rodriguez, 22, showed leadership from midfield despite his youth and was involved in all of Colombia's three goals.
Also showed composure in his finish that sealed the game 3-0. Not being compared to Colombian legend Carlos Valderrama for nothing.

What the result means

- Colombia have made their first appearance at the World Cup finals since 1998 one to remember. They passed the test, but will face stiffer opposition in the form of Drogba and Yaya Toure's Ivory Coast next.

- Greece have now failed to score in six of their seven World Cup matches in history.The going can only get tougher for the team, which next face a tricky Japanese side.