Things were made very clear about two of the teams in Group C, as Colombia looked fantastic in their 3-0 win over the declining Greece with a quick Pablo Armero goal followed by more celebration worthy goals from Teofilo Gutierrez and in injury time from the excellent James Rodriguez.
Greece might be disciplined and experienced in big tournaments, but they’re not a team that looks capable of even coming close to qualifying. Their attack, despite playing with three forwards, looks stagnant, slow and predictable, as Colombia did an excellent job of hanging back and intercepting attacks, releasing them for counter attacks time after time, using their speed and technique to overcome a defense that wasn’t as good as advertised.
Pablo Armero scored the quickest goal of this World Cup in the fifth minute as Colombia took the right side of their attack through Juan Cuadrado, being the team’s most dangerous player throughout the 90 minutes along with James Rodriguez, and after some nifty passing got the ball to Armero, wide open in the middle of the box to give Colombia a lead that set off the celebrations in Belo Horizonte.
Greece wanted and were forced to open up their formation. It only made them more vulnerable to counter attacks. Colombia didn’t create too many chances for the rest of the first half, mainly because of a limited striker in Teofilo Gutierrez, but that Gutierrez, surprisingly starting in front of Carlos Bacca and Jackson Martinez, scored the second goal that made things a lot more comfortable for Colombia with a gentle but lethal touch inside the 5 meter box.
David Ospina wasn’t tested too many times by the Greek attack, but did have to make an impressive save at the end of the first half off a shot from Panagiotis Kone. Theofanis Gekas hit the crossbar in the second half as Greece got their best opportunity early on, but couldn’t even come close to beating the Colombian defense, doing an excellent job with Mario Yepes and Carlos Sanchez leading the ranks.
To make matters worse and final, James Rodriguez, Colombia’s most talented player, got a goal two minutes into injury time after a cheeky touch from Cuardado who was too much to handle for the Greek defense with his dribbling and his speed. Rodriguez took advantage of the fallen apart defense from the Greek side to roll the ball to the right corner of Orestis Karnezis despite not taking a powerful shot.
Colombia take the top spot in Group C with an impressive display that gives them a very big advantage going into their next match, while Greece find themselves in a familiar situation, with an opening match loss, although they’ve been able to rebound from these situations in the past to at least look a bit more respectable later on. Colombia make it 3-for-3 for the South American teams so far in the tournament.