Colombia's forward Teofilo Gutierrez (L) celebrates with Colombia's defender Cristian Zapata after scoring. AFP
Saturday Jun 14, 2014. 20:00
Colombia ended their 16 year World Cup absence with a 3-0 group c win over Greece in Belo Horizonte on Saturday night.
The Colombians win was also their first in an opening game since the 1990 finals after beating UAE 2-0 in a Group D match.
Pablo Armero put Colombia ahead in the 6th minute when his low shot took a deflection off a Greek defender Kostas Manolas on its way in.
Greece had a great chance in the 30th minute when Georgios Samaras fired a shot from an acute angle straight at goalkeeper David Ospina who made a fantastic save on the near post.
Ospina made another spectacular stop to deny Panagiotis Kone off a volley in the 43rd minute to see Colombia take commanding 1-0 first half lead.
Five minutes after the break James Rodriguez unleashed a fine left footed shot in the 50th minute that was parried by Greek goalkeeper Oretis Karnezis.
Eight minutes later, Teofilo Gutierrez added Colombia's second tapping in the ball from a corner in the 58th minute.
Greece were denied a goal in the 62nd minute when Theofanis Gekas’ diving header came off the post before he was substituted a minute later and replaced by Kostas Mitroglou.
Samaras too had a good effort in the 84th minute wasted after the ball rolled just inches wide of the left post to summaries Greeces start to the competition.
James Rodriguez sealed Colombia’s best ever start at the World Cup in injury to send Colombia top of Group C ahead of Thursday's meeting with Cote d’Ivoire.