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FT: Colombia holds off Ivory Coast in raucous Brasilia

Jun 19, 2014, 1:58 PM EST

Brazil Soccer WCup Colombia Ivory Coast AP

The World Cup Group C match between the Ivory Coast and Colombia was not without drama, action or skill — let alone a yellow-clad crowd at full-throat — but it sure took a while to find its finishing touch.

But when it did…

James Rodriguez scored off a corner kick midway through the second half and Juan Fernando Quintero added his first international goal six minutes later to propel Colombia to the knockout rounds with a 2-1 win.

By the time Gervinho tallied for the Ivory Coast in the 73rd minute, there had been three goals in a frenetic 9-minute span.

Dinged cross bars, flubbed sitters and a raucous crowd were all part of a fun affair in Brasilia.

Didier Drogba was again a bench player, not coming on until the 60th minute (just as he did in sparking Les Elephants 2-1 come-from-behind win over Japan in the group opener).

Colombia was the better team for the match’s first half-hour, maybe even 35 minutes. There was constant danger from the Coffee Makers, but they couldn’t finish; The best example of their failure to finish was Teo’s inability to tap home a gorgeous cross.

The Ivory Coast found some danger in the final 10 minutes before halftime, but couldn’t find their way through, either. Here’s what we were saying at halftime.

James –pronounced “Ham-ez” — Rodriguez finally provided the opening goal in the 64th minute when he crushed a header past Boubacar Barry off Juan Cuadrado’s picturesque near post corner.

Quintero made the most of a bad Ivory Coast giveaway when he latched onto a terrific through ball to double the lead.

But just three minutes later it was Gervinho giving Les Elephants life with a tremendous off-balance dribble capped with a right-footed shot past Ospina to make it 2-1.

The drama didn’t stop with the goals, as Drogba threatened multiple times including off a horrific mistouch by Yepes. The defender was bailed out by Ospina.

Also of note was a drive by Quintero from just past half that almost cost Barry off his line.

LINEUPS:

Ivory Coast –  Barry; Aurier, Bamba, Boka, Zokora; Tiote, Yaya Toure, Die, Gradel (Kalou, 67′); Gervinho, Bony (Drogba, 60′)

Goals: Gervinho (73′)

Colombia – Ospina; Armero (Arias, 71′), Zapata, Yepes (c), Zúñiga; Aguilar, Sánchez, James, Cuadrado, Ibarbo (Quintero, 53′); Teo

Goals: Rodriguez (64′), Quintero (70′)

  1. jucam1 - Jun 19, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Tremendous game, tremendous win for Colombia. Might be the best game of the cup so far. These two teams went at it. Colombia is definitely a top 4 team in the world right now. What a game

  2. jimeejohnson - Jun 19, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    The “beautiful game” was fully on display here.

  3. rodge1 - Jun 19, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    James is pronounced ‘Ham-es’, no ‘z’

  4. rodge1 - Jun 19, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    Teo doesn’t belong in the starting lineup, way too much talent ahead of him.

  5. jucam1 - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    Rodge, could not agree more with you. That was the only tactical mistake I saw Peckerman make. Against strong athletic defenses like Ivory coast, Brazil, Even Greece who just sat there, he becomes almost useless. (i know he scored against Greece, but that was off a set piece). You can use him agsinst most South American teams, all Central and North American teams, and some European teams. However, without Falcao, you need to put Jackson, Bacca, Ramos, or even just move Ibarbo up!.. Don’t just let him get out hustled, out muscled, and out runned. He blew the one perfect shot he had, guarantee Bacca or Jackson score there. He is fine there against a team like Ecuador, Chile, Uruguay. He shines against weak teams like Honduras or US, but against truly tough defensive teams, he just isn’t up to par.

  6. goldmember21 - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:28 AM

    VIVA COLOMBIa!

  7. 407magic - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:22 AM

    Great game! Colombia is making some noise without falcao.

    Oh and “cafeteros” sounds a lot better than coffee makers. Get with it bro!

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