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Samaras slots home late, controversial penalty as Ivory Coast meet Greek tragedy

Giovanni Sio was inconsolable at the final whistle after giving away the pivotal penalty.

Greece's Giorgos Samaras celebrates scoring his side's second goal from the penalty spot.
Greece's Giorgos Samaras celebrates scoring his side's second goal from the penalty spot.
Image: Natacha Pisarenko

Ivory Coast 1

Greece 2

A LAST-MINUTE PENALTY from Giorgos Samaras gave Greece a place in the second round of the World Cup finals for the first time after a 2-1 win over Ivory Coast in Fortaleza on Tuesday.

Samaras’s penalty robbed the African side of the place in the last 16 as they had fought back to level at 1-1 through Wilfried Bony and were in sight of the point they required to go through.

Greece took the lead in the first-half through Andreas Samaris and Samaras’s late winner ensured they accompanied group winners Colombia, who thrashed Japan 4-1, into the knockout stages.

The penalty, awarded two minutes into stoppage time, had a touch of controversy to it. Samaras seemed to clip Giovanni Sio’s calf and then the turf but Ecuadorian referee Carlos Vera pointed to the spot. After a hold-up of almost 90 seconds, the former Celtic striker stepped up to side-foot home past Boubacar Barry.

There was only time for the game to re-start as Vera soon blew up to consign Ivory Coast to World Cup 2014 history.

Brazil Soccer WCup Greece Ivory Coast Samaras, left, comforts Ivory Coast's goalkeeper Boubacar Barry. Source: Fernando Llano

© AFP, 2014 with additional reporting by Patrick McCarry 

As it happened: Colombia v Japan, Ivory Coast v Greece, World Cup Group C

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