Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
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# their hips don't lie
Colombia ease to a comfortable 3-0 victory over a disappointing Greece
Goals from Armero, Gutierrez and Rodriguez secure three points for the South Americans.

THEY MAY HAVE been without their star striker Radamel Falcao but Colombia still managed to rack up a relatively straightforward victory in their Group C World Cup opener against Greece.

Having finished second in CONMEBOL qualifying, just two points behind Argentina, Jose Pekerman’s side have been tipped as a potential dark horse for the tournament.

Outside of the goals of Falcao and Teo Gutierrez, the cornerstone of their South American qualification campaign was a tight defence with 38 year-old Mario Yepes at the heart of it.

In this afternoon’s clash with the Greeks in Belo Horizonte, it was a similar story.

Though the Euro 2004 champions did see plenty of the ball in the opening period, they lacked a cutting edge up front and found it immensely difficult to create any clear cut chances until late in the half when David Ospina made an impressive save, flinging himself to his left to push away Panagiotis Kone’s effort.

Brazil Soccer WCup Colombia Greece Frank Augstein / AP/Press Association Images Frank Augstein / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

As much as Colombia could rely on an impressive back-line, Greece’s reputation as a well-organised, resolute defensive unit (only four goals conceded in ten qualifying games)  was ripped up after just five minutes when West Ham’s Pablo Armero’s low strike was deflected on its way and rolled over the line.

Though the goal may have been scrappy, Armero and his team-mates celebrated in style.


After the break, the Greeks still remained static and failed to push on, their approach slow and ponderous.

With just over half an hour left, Colombia scored a second. From a corner driven towards the near post, Abel Aguilar flicked on and Teo Gutierrez was perfectly positioned to touch home from a couple of yards.

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It was a killer-blow to Greece but they desperately tried to rally and force their way back. But, when Theofanis Gekas inexplicably missed from close range when it looked easier to score, they must have known it wasn’t to be.


In injury time, the impressive James Rodriguez racked up a well-deserved third goal after some good approach work by Cuadrado.


So, a step towards the knock-out round for the South Americans but plenty of work to do for an under-inspiring Greece.

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