MATCH CENTRE

TUE 24 JUNE 2014, 22:00, ESTADIO CASTELAO

2
VS
1

Greek tragedy for Côte d’Ivoire

by Staff Reporter

Wed June 25, 00:18

Cote d’Ivoire missed a chance of making history in he cruelest of fashions when a controversial late penalty for Greece sealed a 2-1 victory for the European side in Fortaleza on Tuesday that sends the Elephants tumbling out of the tournament.

The Ivorians were seconds away from sealing their first-ever second round appearance when Serey Die was adjudged to have fouled Georgios Samaras in the box and Ecuadoran referee Carlos Vera point to the spot.

Samaras converted to give Greece just their second ever World Cup finals victory and take them into the knockout stages for the first time.

Cote d’Ivoire had clawed their way back into a favourable position after they trailed 15 minutes from time to Andreas Samaris’s goal, a gift from the Ivorian defence, but substitute Wilfred Bony netted what looked an all important equaliser for the African side.



It was not to be though as Samaras netted from the spot to send the Elephants home in despair.
Cote d’Ivoire coach Sabri Lamouchi opted to start veteran forward Didier Drogba for the first time in the tournament, with Bony dropping to the bench.

The opening half-hour had little in the way of action, both sides playing slightly within themselves. Perhaps the Elephants always though one point would be enough.

Greece hot the frame of the goal for the first of three times in the game to spark the fixture into life though with left-back José Holebas the unlucky man after he had been put clear by Georgios Samaras.

The opening goal did arrive on 42 minutes and again Samaras was involved. After Cheick Tioté had left his pass back to Kolo Toure short, Samaris played a one-two with Samaras and was through on goal, easily beating Boubacar Barry between the Ivorian posts.

Yaya Toure almost found an immediate replay but his goal-bound shot was deflected wide just when it appeared to be arrowing into the bottom corner of the net.

The African side had plenty of the ball in the second half, but it was Greece who almost scored next as Giorgos Karagounis saw his 35-yard shot cannon off the crossbar again.

Lamouchi went for broke in the closing stages, introducing striker Bony for midfielder Tiote in a desperate bid to get the goal they needed.

And it arrived on 74 minutes as Gervinho was played in on the left-hand side of the box and his square-ball was neatly tucked away by Bony.

At that stage Cote d’Ivoire were through, but after some nervy moments in their shakey defence, disaster struck when Die clipped the calf of Samaras as he was shaping to shoot and the referee adjudged it a penalty.

Greece will now meet Costa Rica in the second round, while pool winners Colombia tackle Uruguay.

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE ESTADIO CASTELAO
GREECE GOALS COTE D'IVOIRE GOALS
22. Andreas Samaris (42') 12. Wilfried Bony (74')
7. Giorgos Samaras (90 + 3')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
3
GREECE STARTING LINEUP COTE D'IVOIRE STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
24'
1
Goalkeeper
1
Defender
2
Defender
3
Defender
20
Defender
4
Defender
4
Defender
17
Defender
22
15
Midfielder
61'
9
Midfielder
77'
10
Midfielder
70'
20
Midfielder
19
Midfielder
12'
8
Forward/Striker
37'
78'
11
Forward/Striker
14
Forward/Striker
83'
10
Forward/Striker
90 + 3'
7
Forward/Striker
62'
8
SUBSTITUTIONS
Andreas Samaris
Midfielder
12'
22
Wilfried Bony
Forward/Striker
61'
12
Panagiotis Glykos
Goalkeeper
24'
12
Ismael Diomande
Midfielder
78'
14
Theofanis Gekas
Forward/Striker
77'
17
Giovanni Sio
Forward/Striker
83'
21
CARDS
Didier Drogba
Forward/Striker
37'
11
Salomon Kalou
Forward/Striker
62'
8
Geoffroy Serey Die
Midfielder
70'
20
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
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