Player Ratings: Colombia 3-0 Greece

Sports Mole rates the players following Colombia's 3-0 win over Greece in the opening game of Group C.

Colombia got their World Cup campaign off to the perfect start as they eased to a 3-0 victory over Greece in their Group C opener.

Pablo Armero fired his side ahead just five minutes into the game with a close-range finish, while strikes in the second half from Teofilo Gutierrez and James Rodriguez sealed the win.

Here, Sports Mole grades every player on their performance at the Estadio Mineirao.


 Colombia players pose for a team photo before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match between Colombia and Greece at Estadio Mineirao on June 14, 2014© Getty Images

Colombia

Goal

David Ospina: The keeper wasn't called upon very often but, on the rare occasions he was, he made the stops he needed to. The 25-year-old made one crucial save to deny Panagiotis Kone just before half time, with a great diving save. (7/10)

Defence

Camilo Zuniga: The right-back was solid if unspectacular. Defensively he was sound enough and protected his flank well to deny Georgios Samaras space, which forced the striker to cut inside where he lost possession regularly. Going forward he provided an outlet to Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, but he was often used as a dummy runner. (6/10)

Mario Yepes: Put in a very strong performance at the heart of his side's defence. Didn't give Theofanis Gekas any room to breathe all afternoon and was solid in the air. Distribution from the back was excellent as well. (7/10)

Cristian Zapata: Strong defensively and also gave Gekas a tough time at the back. Won his aerial duels with ease but wasn't the overwhelming presence as his partner was, while his distribution was inconsistent. (7/10)

Pablo Armero: Raided forward from the back and showed his attacking threat by firing in the first goal for his side, with a right-footed finish. Always provided an outlet down the left for Rodriguez and was a solid enough presence at the back. (8/10)

Midfield

James Rodriguez: Always a threat to the Greece defence and seemed to find space with ease. His passing was excellent and he seemed to grow in confidence late in the game. Took his goal extremely well with a neat finish into the bottom corner. (8/10)

Abel Aguilar: Got the crucial flick-on at the near post to create the second goal for Gutierrez. Was solid enough in the midfield and competed well against Maniatis and Katsouranis to win the battle in the middle of the park. (7/10)

Carlos Sanchez: Was booked for a poor challenge on Georgios Samaras and didn't quite provide the strong presence that Aguilar did in the middle. His passing was sound and he did his job well enough for the team. (6/10)

Juan Guillermo Cuadrado: Had an excellent game for his team and was a constant thorn in the side of the Greece defence. The 26-year-old terrorised them with his pace and skill down the flank, which was crucial in setting up the first goal for Armero, and he showed the same ability creating the third for Rodriguez. A player to watch as the tournament progresses (9/10)

Victor Ibarbo: Threatened with his pace throughout the first half and forced the Greece defence into making several challenges inside their own box. Helped Colombia switch from defence to attack with speed. His passing could have been better, but still a solid performance in the opener. (7/10)

Attack

Teofilo Gutierrez: Led the line extremely well and coped with the physical play of the Greece defenders. Showed neat touches in and around the box to set up attacks in the final third and also predatory instincts to get his side's second goal. (8/10)

Substitutes

Alexander Mejia: Brought on to replace the tiring legs of Aguilar in the 69th minute and helped his side maintain the intensity in midfield to secure the victory. (6/10)

Santiago Arias: Showed a few bursts from the back to ease the pressure on his side's defence late in the game and was solid at the back himself. (6/10)

Jackson Martinez: Didn't get up to the pace of the game in the last few minutes and was largely a spectator after replacing Gutierrez. (5/10)



The Greece players prior to the group C football match between Colombia and Greece at the Mineirao Arena in Belo Horizonte during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14, 2014© Getty Images

Greece

Goal

Orestis Karnezis: Could not do much to prevent any of the goals his side conceded as Kostas Manolas deflected the ball past him for the first, and the second and third were close-range finishes. Made a few decent stops and showed control of his area. (6/10)

Defence

Vasilis Torosidis: Struggled at times defensively as the pace of Ibarbo gave him trouble down the flank. Going forward he was impressive and fired a few decent crosses into the box, one of which should have been converted by Gekas. (6/10)

Kostas Manolas: Had a bad start to the game as he deflected Armero's effort past Karnezis, but he rallied to make a few excellent challenges on Ibarbo in the first half to keep his side in the game. Tired in the second half as the pressure never stopped on the Greece goal. (7/10)

Sokratis Papastathopoulos: Made a few good interceptions and won the majority of his aerial duels. He was booked for a poor challenge on Ibarbo and seemed to tire like his partner at the back as the game wore on. (6/10)

Jose Holebas: Struggled with Cuadrado as his pace and trickery caused problems down the left for Greece. He was unable to stop the delivery from the right for the first goal and was caught out for the third by a quickly taken free kick. Going forward he was inconsistent and didn't really help his side in the final third. (5/10)

Midfield

Kostas Katsouranis: Was anonymous for the majority of the game as he failed to win the midfield battle against Aguilar and Sanchez. Played neat passes without finding the penetration his side needed, and he failed to push forward to offer another outlet from the middle. (5/10)

Giannis Maniatis: Offered a bit more in attack than Katsouranis and he did try to get into threatening positions for his side, but his execution in the final third was poor. (6/10)

Panagiotis Kone: Probably his side's best player in the game as he did actually offer a threat in the final third. He could have equalised for Greece immediately after going behind as he found space in the box, but guided his shot wide. The 26-year-old also saw an effort in the first half well saved by Ospina. (7/10)

Attack

Dimitris Salpingidis: Fernando Santos would have had high hopes for the attacker going into the tournament, but he flattered to deceive in the opener as he failed to muster any sort of threat on the Colombia goal. Defensively he was poor as he failed to track back down the right. (5/10)

Georgios Samaras: Started on the left and could have provided an assist for Kone when he put his effort wide. The 29-year-old didn't shy away from the ball, but he lacked the quality to do anything with it in and around the box. Tried to dive for a penalty early in the second half, and his appeals were rebuffed by the referee. (6/10)

Theofanis Gekas: Had an extremely poor game that he will want to forget immediately. He was bullied off the ball on regular occasions by Yepes and Zapata as he failed to hold it up for his fellow attackers. Missed his side's best chance of the game as he hit the crossbar from six yards out when unmarked in the box. (4/10)

Substitutes

Giannis Fetfatzidis: Offered a spark for his side when he came on in the 57th minute, but it was too late to affect the game by that point as they went 2-0 down a minute after his arrival. Could have forced his way into the team for the second game. (6/10)

Kostas Mitroglou: The Fulham striker tried to get into the mix, but couldn't really make an impact on the game after arriving from the bench. Looked frustrated to not be starting ahead of Gekas. (5/10)

Giorgos Karagounis: Came on in the 78th minute and tried to push his side forward to search for a goal, but was unable to inspire anyone in his brief time on the field despite driving Colombia deep into their own half. (6/10)


Teofilo Gutierrez of Colombia and Cristian Zapata celebrate after the second goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match between Colombia and Greece at Estadio Mineirao on June 14, 2014
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