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Colombia overcome Ivory Coast to qualify for the last 16
Colombia booked their place in the final 16 on the back of goals from James Rodriguez and Quintero, with Gervinho’s consolation not enough for the Ivory Coast to seal a comeback.
Ivory Coast: Barry; Aurier, Zokora, Samba, Boka; Serey, Tiote, Gervinho, Toure, Gradel; Bony.
Colombia: Ospina; Zuniga, Zapata, Yepes, Armero; Aguilar, Sanchez, Cuadrado, Rodriguez, Ibarbo, Guiterrez.
Ivory Coast were much more cautious in their setup in the first half compared to their previous game against Japan, perhaps wary of the dangerous Colombian counter. This led to a scrappy match with not a lot of open space for either team.
Colombia were on top early, but a lot of their good build-up play was ruined by Gutierrez’s poor decisions, and even worse finishing.
Ivory Coast started the second half better than the first. Despite their territorial dominance, it was still Colombia with the more dangerous chances with Cuadrado threatening on the break.
Quintero came on in the 53rd minute to give the Colombians more flair in midfield, and in the 64th minute, it was he who swung in a corner for the impressive James Rodriguez (who now has two Man of the Match awards in two games) to head home from a corner to break the deadlock.
Just 5 minutes later, with the Colombians now able to counter-attack due to the Ivory Coast having to push forward, the Elephants’ defense was undone on a fast counter that ended with Quintero finding the back of the net.
Ivory Coast responded by throwing Kalou on for Gradel, and a stunning effort from Gervinho, dribbling past three players before blasting the ball into the goal at the near post, made an Ivory Coast comeback possible at 73′.
Despite pushing for an equalizer, Colombia were able to hold the Ivory Coast at bay and escape with the three points that ensured their progression.
A win for Ivory Coast against Greece would almost certainly book their place in the final 16.
Man of the Match: James Rodriguez
Flop of the Match: Gutierrez