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World Cup 2014: Colombia thump Greece 3-0 to set Group C alight

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Goals from Pablo Armero, Teófilo Gutiérrez and James Rodriguez gave Colombia a well deserved 3-0 win against a defensive-minded Greece outfit in the opening game of Group C at the FIFA World Cup. With African heavyweights Ivory Coast expected to be the team to beat in Group C it was important that both of these sides made the most of this opportunity and it was the flair of the team from South America that overshadowed the former European Champions in a game that was littered with fouls in some part due to an over exuberant whistle blowing American referee.

It didn't Colombia long to make their dominance count with left back Pablo Armero the unlikely source of the opening goal in just the 5th minute as his deflected strike crept in at the near post off the foot of Manolas, who in hindsight will wish he had been more forceful in getting in the way of the Colombian's strike.

Colombia went into their shell for a while after the goal and it gave their goalkeeper David Ospina, reportedly under the watchful eye of Arsenal scouts, a good opportunity to make his mark on the tournament by pulling off some good saves, including one in particular to deny Panagiotis Kone.

Colombia killed off the game early in the second half with the South Americans getting the job done before the hour mark as Teofilo Gutierrez tapped the ball home from close range after some good work in the box from Abel Aguilar following James Rodriguez's low corner.

Greece had some half chances to get back into the game, with the earliest of those coming just 5 minutes after Colombia's second goal as Theofanis Gekas saw his header beat Ospina, only to be denied by the underside of the crossbar.

The referee Mark Geiger might have well been quick to bring his whistle to his lips, but was unsympathetic towards Greece's attempts to win a penalty, rejecting more than a few late appeals.

There was time at the very end for James Rodriguez to add his name to the scoresheet, grabbing a well deserved goal to add some gloss to the scoreline and give Colombia their biggest ever win in World Cup history.

It would be unfair to wrap up the Colombian story without mentioning Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, with the Liverpool and Barcelona target, running havoc right through the contest and while failing to get on the scoresheet himself, creating two out of the three goals that Colombia scored.

Teams:

Colombia: Ospina; Armero (Arias - 74' ), Zapata, Yepes (c), Zúñiga; Sánchez, Aguilar (Mejía - 69' ), Cuadrado, Rodriguez, Ibarbo; Gutierrez (Martinez - 76' ).

Greece: Kamezis; Manolas, Torosidis, Papastathopolous, Holebas; Maniatis, Kone (Karagounis - 78' ), Katsouranis; Salpingidis (Fetfatzidis - 57' ), Gekas (Mitroglou - 64' ), Samaras.

Final Score: Colombia 3-0 Greece (Armero 5? Gutiérrez 58?, Rodriguez 90')