Match Analysis: Colombia 3-0 Greece

Match Analysis: Colombia 3-0 Greece
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Sports Mole analyses Colombia's 3-0 win over Greece in their World Cup opener.

Colombia and Greece faced off in their World Cup opener at the Estadio Mineirao as Group C got underway on the third day of the tournament.

Jose Pekerman's side controlled the game from the off and went ahead through Pablo Armero in the fifth minute, while Teofilo Gutierrez and James Rodriguez sealed the victory with second-half strikes.

Sports Mole will analyse the game to see if the Colombians were worthy victors.

Match statistics

Shots: 13
On target: 6
Possession: 48%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 19

Shots: 11
On target: 2
Possession: 52%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 14

Was the result fair?

Colombia were by far the better side in the contest and deserved all three points. They were clinical when they needed to be in and around the box, and showed far more attacking intent than Greece throughout the 90 minutes. Fernando Santos's side weren't able to muster much going forward and were pedestrian with the ball, while they also faded drastically as the game wore on. Pekerman's men were worthy winners.

Colombia's performance

Colombia showed great attacking intent from the off and were able to get behind the Greece defence very early on. Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, James Rodriguez and Victor Ibarbo were a constant threat, while Teofilo Gutierrez was able to hold the ball well and allow the creative players to flourish around him. Defensively they were solid and rarely tested by the Greece attack, but on the occasions they were Mario Yepes always seemed to have the answers.

Greece's performance

Greece were poor throughout the game and lacked the ability to break down the Colombia defence despite enjoying better possession of the ball. Santos's side couldn't get the ball to stick up top with Theofanis Gekas, who lost possession countless time and missed his side's best chance of the game. However, he wasn't supported well enough by Georgios Samaras and Dimitris Salpingidis, who were largely anonymous. Greece conceded just four goals in qualifying, but were undone three times and it could have been more if not for Kostas Manolas and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who made several good last-ditch tackles. A lot of improvement is needed for their second game.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Juan Guillermo Cuadrado: The Fiorentina winger made several excellent surging runs which cut the Greece defence open down the right flank time and again. His mazy run down the right created the opening for Armero to break the deadlock, and he showed his skills again when creating the third for Rodriguez, catching Greece off guard. The 26-year-old was a constant threat for his side and deserved to find the net himself for his outstanding performance.

Biggest gaffe

Theofanis Gekas had a great chance to get his side back in the game after they went 2-0 down, as he was unmarked in the penalty area when Vasilis Torosidis lifted the ball back to him. However, he could only hit the woodwork with his effort from six yards out. A goal at that point could have brought Greece back into the game.

Referee performance

American Mark Geiger had an excellent game at the Estadio Mineirao. Every decision he made seemed to be the correct one and he wasn't fooled by a penalty claim from Samaras when he went down early in the second half, which replays proved was a dive.

What next?

Colombia: Colombia face the Ivory Coast in their second Group C game at the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia on June 19.

Greece: Greece take on Japan on June 19 at the Estadio das Dunas.

Colombia players celebrate Pablo Armero's opening goal in the World Cup Group C match against Greece on June 14, 2014
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Live Commentary: Colombia 3-0 Greece - as it happened
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