04082020

World Cup: Quick-starting Colombia beats Greece in Group C opener – CNN


.cnn_html_media_utility::before{color:red;content:’>>’;font-size:9px;line-height:12px;padding-right:1px}
.cnnstrylccimg640{margin:0 27px 14px 0}
.captionText{filter:alpha(opacity=100);opacity:1}
.cnn_html_slideshow_media_caption a,.cnn_html_slideshow_media_caption a:visited,.cnn_html_slideshow_media_caption a:link,.captionText a,.captionText a:visited,.captiontext a:link{color:#004276;outline:medium none}
.cnnVerticalGalleryPhoto{margin:0 auto;padding-right:68px;width:270px}
]]>

England's goalkeeper Joe Hart lies in the net after Mario Balotelli put Italy 2-1 up in the World Cup match at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus, Brazil, on June 14. Today is the third day of the soccer tournament, which is being held in 12 cities across Brazil. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/13/football/gallery/world-cup-0613/index.html' target='_blank'>See yesterday's best photos</a>England’s goalkeeper Joe Hart lies in the net after Mario Balotelli put Italy 2-1 up in the World Cup match at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus, Brazil, on June 14. Today is the third day of the soccer tournament, which is being held in 12 cities across Brazil. See yesterday’s best photos
Mario Balotelli scores Italy's second goal, beating England defender Gary Cahill to a cross and heading the ball past goalkeeper Joe Hart.Mario Balotelli scores Italy’s second goal, beating England defender Gary Cahill to a cross and heading the ball past goalkeeper Joe Hart.
England forward Daniel Sturridge, left, scores a first-half leveler.England forward Daniel Sturridge, left, scores a first-half leveler.
England supporters react in the Walkabout bar in central London after Sturridge's 37th-minute goal.England supporters react in the Walkabout bar in central London after Sturridge’s 37th-minute goal.
Striker Daniel Sturridge equalizes for England against Italy, beating goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.Striker Daniel Sturridge equalizes for England against Italy, beating goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio, left, celebrates with teammate Daniele De Rossi after scoring the opening goal.Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio, left, celebrates with teammate Daniele De Rossi after scoring the opening goal.
Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini, left, and England's forward Daniel Welbeck vie for the ball.Italy’s defender Giorgio Chiellini, left, and England’s forward Daniel Welbeck vie for the ball.
Italy midfielder Marco Verratti, left, falls following a tackle by England forward Wayne Rooney.Italy midfielder Marco Verratti, left, falls following a tackle by England forward Wayne Rooney.
England midfielder Raheem Sterling, left, tries to run past Italy defender Gabriel Paletta.
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini and England full back Glen Johnson vie for the ball. Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini and England full back Glen Johnson vie for the ball.
Italy goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu sees an early England shot fly into the sidenetting.Italy goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu sees an early England shot fly into the sidenetting.
Italy fans cheer as they wait for the kickoff of the World Cup match against England.Italy fans cheer as they wait for the kickoff of the World Cup match against England.
An England supporter takes pictures prior to the start of the match. An England supporter takes pictures prior to the start of the match.
Costa Rica fans celebrate their team's first goal in the 3-1 win against Uruguay, watching the game on a giant screen on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Costa Rica fans celebrate their team’s first goal in the 3-1 win against Uruguay, watching the game on a giant screen on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Uruguay fans, in blue, are pictured after their team's defeat to Costa Rica.Uruguay fans, in blue, are pictured after their team’s defeat to Costa Rica.
Uruguay defender Maximiliano Pereira, left, is sent off after this tackle on Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell during a World Cup match at Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil. Uruguay defender Maximiliano Pereira, left, is sent off after this tackle on Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell during a World Cup match at Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Uruguay forward Diego Forlan looks rueful as Costa Rica's players celebrate a goal in the background.Uruguay forward Diego Forlan looks rueful as Costa Rica’s players celebrate a goal in the background.
 Luis Suarez, Uruguay's star player, watches from the bench. He is still recovering from a pre-tournament injury. Luis Suarez, Uruguay’s star player, watches from the bench. He is still recovering from a pre-tournament injury.
Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell was a key player in the match, scoring the equalizing goal and setting up his team's third.Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell was a key player in the match, scoring the equalizing goal and setting up his team’s third.
 Edinson Cavani of Uruguay controls the ball against Michael Umana of Costa Rica. Edinson Cavani of Uruguay controls the ball against Michael Umana of Costa Rica.
Oscar Duarte of Costa Rica, second left, celebrates scoring his team's second goal against Uruguay.Oscar Duarte of Costa Rica, second left, celebrates scoring his team’s second goal against Uruguay.
Joel Campbell of Costa Rica, left, celebrates scoring his team's first goal with the ball under his jersey as teammates Oscar Duarte, center, and Michael Umana run on.Joel Campbell of Costa Rica, left, celebrates scoring his team’s first goal with the ball under his jersey as teammates Oscar Duarte, center, and Michael Umana run on.
Joel Campbell scores Costa Rica's equalizer against Uruguay. Joel Campbell scores Costa Rica’s equalizer against Uruguay.
Uruguay defender Diego Lugano in action during the World Cup match against Costa Rica.Uruguay defender Diego Lugano in action during the World Cup match against Costa Rica.
Uruguay midfielder Cristian Rodriguez, left, falls to the ground with Costa Rica counterpart Yeltsin Tejeda.Uruguay midfielder Cristian Rodriguez, left, falls to the ground with Costa Rica counterpart Yeltsin Tejeda.
Costa Rica defender Oscar Duarte, right, and Uruguay midfielder Cristian Rodriguez vie for the ball. Costa Rica defender Oscar Duarte, right, and Uruguay midfielder Cristian Rodriguez vie for the ball.
Costa Rica's goalkeeper Keylor Navas fails to save Edinson Cavani's penalty kick.Costa Rica’s goalkeeper Keylor Navas fails to save Edinson Cavani’s penalty kick.
Martin Caceres piles on his Uruguay teammates as they celebrate Cavani's first-half goal. Martin Caceres piles on his Uruguay teammates as they celebrate Cavani’s first-half goal.
Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring in the 23rd minute.Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring in the 23rd minute.
Uruguay forward Christian Stuani, left, and Costa Rica defender Junior Diaz vie for the ball. Uruguay forward Christian Stuani, left, and Costa Rica defender Junior Diaz vie for the ball.
Uruguay defender Diego Godin, top center, has a goal disallowed for offside.Uruguay defender Diego Godin, top center, has a goal disallowed for offside.
Uruguay defender Diego Godin, right, gestures as Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell, center, falls. Uruguay defender Diego Godin, right, gestures as Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell, center, falls.
Costa Rica defender Junior Diaz, right, tackles Uruguay's Diego Lugano.Costa Rica defender Junior Diaz, right, tackles Uruguay’s Diego Lugano.
Edinson Cavani of Uruguay, center left, warms up with teammates prior to the World Cup match between Uruguay and Costa Rica.Edinson Cavani of Uruguay, center left, warms up with teammates prior to the World Cup match between Uruguay and Costa Rica.
Costa Rica fans cheer ahead of the match. Costa Rica fans cheer ahead of the match.
 Uruguay fans hold up their country's flags before the game. Uruguay fans hold up their country’s flags before the game.
Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Colombia defeated Greece 3-0. Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Colombia defeated Greece 3-0.
Greece forward Ioannis Fetfatzidis, second left, and defender Vasilis Torosidis, right, react after conceding the third goal in time added on.Greece forward Ioannis Fetfatzidis, second left, and defender Vasilis Torosidis, right, react after conceding the third goal in time added on.
Greece midfielder Giorgos Karagounis tumbles to the ground as he tussles with Colombia forward Jackson Martinez.Greece midfielder Giorgos Karagounis tumbles to the ground as he tussles with Colombia forward Jackson Martinez.
Victor Ibarbo of Colombia is challenged by Vasilis Torosidis of Greece.Victor Ibarbo of Colombia is challenged by Vasilis Torosidis of Greece.
 Greece striker Giorgios Samaras reacts after going down during the game. Greece striker Giorgios Samaras reacts after going down during the game.
Colombia coach Jose Pekerman looks on during the Group C match. Colombia coach Jose Pekerman looks on during the Group C match.
Colombia forward Teofilo Gutierrez celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Greece.Colombia forward Teofilo Gutierrez celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal against Greece.
Pablo Armero of Colombia, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal.Pablo Armero of Colombia, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal.
Armero's deflected shot put Colombia ahead after just five minutes of the match against Greece.Armero’s deflected shot put Colombia ahead after just five minutes of the match against Greece.
Greece's defender Vasilis Torosidis, right, vies with Colombia's forward Teofilo Gutierrez.Greece’s defender Vasilis Torosidis, right, vies with Colombia’s forward Teofilo Gutierrez.
Greece's forward Georgios Samaras, left, vies with Colombia's defender Juan Camilo Zuniga, whose teammate Abel Agui watches on. Greece’s forward Georgios Samaras, left, vies with Colombia’s defender Juan Camilo Zuniga, whose teammate Abel Agui watches on.
Colombian fans cheer from the stand. Colombian fans cheer from the stand.
Greece fans hold up banners prior to the start of the game. Greece fans hold up banners prior to the start of the game.
The Colombia and Greece teams line up ahead of the opening Group C match. The Colombia and Greece teams line up ahead of the opening Group C match.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

How are you celebrating the World Cup? Join the global conversation on CNN’s Facebook Pulse

(CNN) — Mario Balotelli’s headed goal early in the second half gave Italy a crucial 2-1 win over fellow European heavyweights England in their Group D opener in Manaus.

Continuing the pattern of a free-scoring World Cup, both sides created a flurry of chances in an open and attacking match despite the stifling heat and humidity of the Amazon jungle and a pitch of questionable quality.

England, inspired by Raheem Sterling, made a confident start with the Liverpool man going close with an early snap shot.

But it was the Italians who went ahead as Andrea Pirlo’s dummy left Claudio Marchisio the chance to score with a rasping 35th minute drive.

Within two minutes England drew deservedly level as Daniel Sturridge converted from Wayne Rooney’s cross after the Manchester United man had been sent clear by Sterling.

The eventual winner came five minutes after the break as the excellent Antonio Candreva was allowed to cross for Balotelli to head home at the far post from close range.

England pressed forward and created a number of half chances, the best of which fell to Rooney, who dragged his effort wide.

But Italy, who knocked England out of the last European championships, always carried a threat as well and Pirlo rattled Joe Hart’s crossbar with an injury time free kick.

Italy coach Prandelli praised his midfielders for their role in a famous victory.

“I am clearly satisfied with this victory as this match against England was very difficult, they are a very good team,” Prandelli said. “We had a very good basis in midfield,” he added.

The win leaves Italy well placed to reach the last 16 after Costa Rica stunned South American champions Uruguay 3-1 in the earlier match in the group.

Uruguay, who kept star player Luis Suarez on the bench for the Group D opener in Fortaleza, also ended with 10 men when Maxi Pereira was sent off for an ugly challenge in injury time.

Italy striker Mario Balotelli, left, heads the winning goal against England in a Group D World Cup match at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus, Brazil on Saturday, June 14. Italy defeated England 2-1. Click through the gallery to see all the goals scored so far in the soccer tournament, which is being held in 12 cities across Brazil.Italy striker Mario Balotelli, left, heads the winning goal against England in a Group D World Cup match at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus, Brazil on Saturday, June 14. Italy defeated England 2-1. Click through the gallery to see all the goals scored so far in the soccer tournament, which is being held in 12 cities across Brazil.
England forward Daniel Sturridge celebrates after scoring a first-half equalizer against Italy in the Group D World Cup match at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus on June 14. England forward Daniel Sturridge celebrates after scoring a first-half equalizer against Italy in the Group D World Cup match at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus on June 14.
England goalkeeper Joe Hart dives in vain as Claudio Marchisio's long-range shot gives Italy the lead in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group D match between England and Italy at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, on June 14.England goalkeeper Joe Hart dives in vain as Claudio Marchisio’s long-range shot gives Italy the lead in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group D match between England and Italy at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, on June 14.
Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, left, looks on as Costa Rica's players celebrate their team's late winner, scored by substitute Marco Urena, in the Group D World Cup match at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil on June 14. Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, left, looks on as Costa Rica’s players celebrate their team’s late winner, scored by substitute Marco Urena, in the Group D World Cup match at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil on June 14.
Oscar Duarte celebrates after scoring Costa Rica's second goal against Uruguay during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group D match at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil, on June 14.Oscar Duarte celebrates after scoring Costa Rica’s second goal against Uruguay during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group D match at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil, on June 14.
Forward Joel Campbell scores Costa Rica's equalizer against Uruguay in the World Cup Group D match at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza on Saturday, June 14.Forward Joel Campbell scores Costa Rica’s equalizer against Uruguay in the World Cup Group D match at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza on Saturday, June 14.
Edinson Cavani puts Uruguay ahead against Costa Rica with a first-half penalty kick in the World Cup match at Castelao on June 14.Edinson Cavani puts Uruguay ahead against Costa Rica with a first-half penalty kick in the World Cup match at Castelao on June 14.
Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring his team's third and final goal during the World Cup match against Greece at the Mineirao Arena in Belo Horizonte on June 14. Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring his team’s third and final goal during the World Cup match against Greece at the Mineirao Arena in Belo Horizonte on June 14.
Colombia's forward Teofilo Gutierrez, center, scores during the match against Greece at the Mineirao Arena in Belo Horizonte during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14. Colombia’s forward Teofilo Gutierrez, center, scores during the match against Greece at the Mineirao Arena in Belo Horizonte during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14.
Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis fails to keep out a deflected shot by Colombia's Pablo Armero in the fifth minute of the match at Estadio Mineirao on June 14, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis fails to keep out a deflected shot by Colombia’s Pablo Armero in the fifth minute of the match at Estadio Mineirao on June 14, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Jean Beausejour of Chile shoots and scores the final goal during the team's 3-1 win over Australia during the World Cup on Friday, June 13.Jean Beausejour of Chile shoots and scores the final goal during the team’s 3-1 win over Australia during the World Cup on Friday, June 13.
Australian forward Tim Cahill heads in a first-half goal to cut Chile's lead to one. Chile had a 2-0 lead at the time.Australian forward Tim Cahill heads in a first-half goal to cut Chile’s lead to one. Chile had a 2-0 lead at the time.
The ball bulges the back of the net after Chile's Jorge Valdivia scored in the 14th minute of the game. The goal came within two minutes of Chile's first goal.The ball bulges the back of the net after Chile’s Jorge Valdivia scored in the 14th minute of the game. The goal came within two minutes of Chile’s first goal.
Chile forward Alexis Sanchez kicks the ball past two Australians to score the opening goal of the match.Chile forward Alexis Sanchez kicks the ball past two Australians to score the opening goal of the match.
Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, right, reacts after Dutch forward Arjen Robben, center, scored to put the finishing touches on a 5-1 win for the Netherlands on June 13. It was Robben's second goal of the match.Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, right, reacts after Dutch forward Arjen Robben, center, scored to put the finishing touches on a 5-1 win for the Netherlands on June 13. It was Robben’s second goal of the match.
Netherlands forward Robin van Persie, left, celebrates after scoring his second goal of the match to put the Dutch up 4-1. Netherlands forward Robin van Persie, left, celebrates after scoring his second goal of the match to put the Dutch up 4-1.
Stefan de Vrij, right, deflects the ball in for the Netherlands' third goal while van Persie collides with Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas.Stefan de Vrij, right, deflects the ball in for the Netherlands’ third goal while van Persie collides with Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Robben slides on the ground after scoring his first goal. It gave the Dutch a 2-1 lead in the second half.Robben slides on the ground after scoring his first goal. It gave the Dutch a 2-1 lead in the second half.
Van Persie scores a diving header in the first half of the match against Spain. It tied the score at 1-1.Van Persie scores a diving header in the first half of the match against Spain. It tied the score at 1-1.
Xabi Alonso scores on a penalty kick to give Spain an early 1-0 lead.Xabi Alonso scores on a penalty kick to give Spain an early 1-0 lead.
Oribe Peralta celebrates after scoring the only goal in Mexico's 1-0 win over Cameroon on June 13.Oribe Peralta celebrates after scoring the only goal in Mexico’s 1-0 win over Cameroon on June 13.
Brazilian midfielder Oscar, right, celebrates after scoring a late goal to give his team a 3-1 win over Croatia in the opening match of the World Cup on Thursday, June 12.Brazilian midfielder Oscar, right, celebrates after scoring a late goal to give his team a 3-1 win over Croatia in the opening match of the World Cup on Thursday, June 12.
Neymar scores a penalty kick to give Brazil a 2-1 lead. It was Neymar's second goal of the match.Neymar scores a penalty kick to give Brazil a 2-1 lead. It was Neymar’s second goal of the match.
Croatian goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa dives but fails to stop the ball as Neymar scores his first goal to tie the match at 1-1.Croatian goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa dives but fails to stop the ball as Neymar scores his first goal to tie the match at 1-1.
Brazil's Marcelo, second from right, accidentally deflects the ball past his own goalkeeper, Julio Cesar. It was the first goal of the tournament, and it put the host country in an early hole.Brazil’s Marcelo, second from right, accidentally deflects the ball past his own goalkeeper, Julio Cesar. It was the first goal of the tournament, and it put the host country in an early hole.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

Photos: Every goal from the World CupPhotos: Every goal from the World Cup

Uruguay had looked set for a routine victory when Edinson Cavani put them ahead through a 24th minute penalty.

But there was a complete reversal of fortunes after halftime as Joel Campbell drove home a 54th minute equalizer.

Three minutes later Oscar Duarte stooped low to head the Costa Ricans ahead.

Liverpool’s Suarez, who had knee surgery ahead of the tournament, was still not risked by coach Oscar Tabarez despite the dire plight of his team and a sorry night was to get worse.

Campbell, on the books of Arsenal but yet to play a first team game for the English Premier League side, capped a fine performance by sending away Marco Urena to score a late and clinching third.

Pereira then saw red in a moment of madness as he lunged at Campbell and will miss Uruguay’s second group match against England Thursday, which now takes on added importance for both teams after their opening setbacks.

Costa Rica’s Colombian coach Jorge Luis Pinto said Campbell had changed the course of the game.

“He’s a man who unsettles you, he surprises, changes the tempo, he was uncontainable for the Uruguay defense,” said Pinto.

In the first match Saturday, Colombia scored the fastest goal of the World Cup to date to set up a 3-0 victory against Greece in the opening game of Group C.

Pablo Armero’s deflected shot squeezed over the Greek line to give his team a fifth-minute lead in Belo Horizonte, and the South Americans doubled their advantage in the second half as striker Teofilo Gutierrez netted.

Gutierrez, leading the line in the absence of Colombia’s injured star forward Radamel Falcao, stabbed home at the far post in the 58th minute after a right-wing corner was flicked on.

Read: Live score updates from World Cup

Greece should have reduced the deficit, but veteran Theofanis Gekas headed against the crossbar from close range soon before he was substituted in the 64th minute.

Young midfielder James Rodriguez sealed Colombia’s victory in time added on, with a low shot that keeper Orestis Karnezis could only palm into the corner of the net.

Great things are expected of Rodriguez, who moved to big spending AS Monaco from Porto for $60 million before the start of last season.

He is nicknamed the “new kid” as he is seen as the natural successor to former Colombian legend Carlos Valderrama whose nickname was ‘the kid” and starred for the national side at three straight World Cups until 1998.

Colombia, in the finals for the first time since Valderrama’s last appearance, is considered a dangerous outsider although the loss of Falcao is considered a major blow.

Falcao, a teammate of Rodriguez at Monaco, has not recovered from in time from injury but has joined his international teammates in Brazil to lend his support.

Greece has suffered six defeats in the last seven at the World Cup and coach Fernando Santos said his side had been well beaten.

“They caused us a lot of problems from the opening minutes,” the 59-year-old told reporters.

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman was delighted with his side’s opening win.

“We were strong going forward, we had a nice style of play and we created several chances,” said the 64-year-old Argentine.

Saturday’s other Group C game will be between Ivory Coast and Japan.

Read: Drama as Dutch thrash Spain

Read: Brazil sneaks nervy win over Croatia


What Next?

Recent Articles

Leave a Reply

You must be Logged in to post comment.