Columbia qualifies for a place in the second round of the tournament after defeating Ivory Coast 2 – 1 at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia Thursday.
Once again, a pro-Columbian crowd filled Estadio Nacional, as they cheered the South American team. Columbia, who recently defeated Greece 3 – 0, helped the team qualify for the next round of the tournament after 16 years.
Neither of the two teams managed to score a goal during the first half of the match as both Columbia and Ivory Coast struggled against each other’s defenses.
However, Colombia lighted up just before the second half of the match comes to an end as James Rodriguez buries a header through Guillermo Cuadrado’s cross on the 64 – minute mark.
“So many people rooting for you, it was extraordinary,” Rodríguez said in The New York Times. “It was very loud and it was in our favor so that Colombia could win.”
Estadio Nacional’s fiery crowd roared as the South Americans scored another goal a few minutes after Rodriguez takes a lead for Colombia. Juan Quintero secured another point for the team after striking with a left-footed shot with the assistance of Teofilo Gutierrez on the 70 – minute mark.
However, Ivory Coast fights back against Colombia as Gervinho nimbly passes through the South American defenses and strikes with a right-footed shot on the 74 – minute mark of the match. Still, Ivory Coast fails to catch up in the equalizer as the match ended 2 – 1.
In an interview in BBC Sports, Sabri Lamouchi says: “My players did not deserve to lose, a draw would have been more deserved.
“It was a very experienced Colombian team who waited for us to make mistakes, unfortunately we made some and were hit in a hard way.”
“It is a huge pleasure to see Colombia at the World Cup after a long period of time,” Pékerman said in an interview in The New York Times. “Now, to have two consecutive victories, we have the tranquillity of 6 points.”
Ivory Coast still has three points after defeating Japan 2 – 1, who was stuck with another goalless draw against Greece 0 – 0.
Colombia matches up against Japan at Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, while Ivory Coast will be pitted against Greece at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. Both matches will be played on Tuesday, June 24.