MX23RW : Monday, July 23 15:20:22
Jun 24, 2014 at 9pm UK at ​Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza
Ivory Coast
Samaris (42'), Samaras (90' pen.)
FT(HT: 1-0)
Bony (73')
Drogba (37'), Kalou (62'), Die (70')

Live Commentary: Greece 2-1 Ivory Coast - as it happened

Join Sports Mole for all the action from the World Cup Group C showdown clash between Greece and the Ivory Coast.

Greece and the Ivory Coast faced off in their World Cup Group C showdown on Tuesday in Fortaleza.

Both sides could progress to the second round of the tournament in the clash, with only a win being good enough for Fernando Santos's side while Les Elephants could advance with a draw.

However, in an entertaining match Greece sealed their place in the last 16 as Georgios Samaras scored an injury-time penalty to fire them to victory and eliminate the Sabri Lamouchi's men.

Read how all the action unfolded in our commentary below.

8pmGood evening and welcome to the live commentary of the World Cup Group C clash between Greece and the Ivory Coast.

8.02pmWe've had an interesting day so far full of more England struggles and Luis Suarez's bite, and we hope to continue that this evening, apart from the struggles and the biting part, as Group C comes to an end.

8.05pmGreece and the Ivory Coast can still advance to the second round of the tournament so both sides will be going for it this evening in Fortaleza. Fernando Santos's side need to take all three points from the fixture and hope Japan get nothing from their clash with Colombia to progress. Meanwhile, Sabri Lamouchi's men can advance with either a victory or a draw.

8.08pmSantos's side are still alive in the competition due to their excellent defensive display against Japan with just 10 men on the pitch. They earned a clean sheet and a point in their goalless draw with Alberto Zaccheroni's men after seeing captain Kostas Katsouranis dismissed in the first half. Greece will be without their skipper this evening, so they face an uphill battle in the middle of the park against the combative midfield of the Ivory Coast.

8.10pmGreece will need to continue to rely on their excellent defence to keep out the potent attack of the Ivory Coast. Kostas Manolas and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were brilliant at the heart of the backline in their draw with Japan and will need to maintain that form this evening against Didier Drogba, Gervinho and Yaya Toure.

8.12pmTo progress Greece will finally need to get on the scoresheet, something which they have failed to do in their opening two matches. Santos has tried Theofanis Gekas, Kostas Mitroglou and Georgios Samaras up front and neither of them have been able to hit the back of the net, so it will be curious to see who he has opted for this evening to get them the goals they so desperately need.

8.15pmOne player that has impressed for Greece in the tournament so far is midfielder Panagiotis Kone. The Bologna man has provided a bright spark pushing forward from the middle of the park and was unlucky not to score in the first game with two good efforts. Against Japan he changed his approach and was solid in his role and showed great intelligence to run down the clock late in the game. Another good game from him could see his side through to the last 16.

8.18pmThe team news has been announced and we'll start with Greece.

8.20pmGREECE STARTING XI: Karnezis, Maniatis, Manolas, Samaras, Kone, Karagounis, Salpingidis, Torosidis, Lazaros, Sokratis, Holebas.

8.22pmIVORY COAST STARTING XI: Barry, Boka, K Toure, Kalou, Tiote, Gervinho, Drogba, Aurier, Y Toure, Serey, Bamba.

8.23pmGreece make three changes to the side that drew with Japan. Captain Katsouranis is suspended so he is replaced by Giorgios Karagounis, who also takes over the captain's armband. Kostas Mitroglou sustained an injury against Zaccheroni's side and sees his place taken by Dimitris Salpingidis, while Giannis Fetfatzidis also drops out for Lazaros Christodoulopoulos.

8.25pmLamouchi makes three changes to his side that was defeated by Colombia last time out. Didier Drogba starts in what could be his final match at the World Cup and leads the line in place of Wilfried Bony. Kolo Toure comes into the side to replace Didier Zokora at the back, while Salomon Kalou comes in for Max Gradel.

8.30pmLamouchi is hoping to guide his side into the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time in their history and he has admitted that he knows the significance of today's clash.

"We mustn't get carried away. We are fully focused on the match; we know that victory would allow us to write our names in Ivorian football history," he told

"That would be a great achievement and the players are well aware of that, so it would be pointless to try to heap extra pressure on them."

8.33pmThe Ivory Coast will be looking to Didier Drogba to fire them into the last 16 of the tournament. Despite his advancing years he is more than a handful for opposing defenders and is the talisman for his side. The 36-year-old had a major impact in the first game against Japan as within minutes of his arrival Les Elephants turned the game around with a 2-1 win after trailing in the fixture. He didn't quite have the same effect against Colombia but he is more than capable of playing well against Santos's this evening.

8.36pmYaya Toure and Kolo Toure will be playing this game with a heavy heart following the death of their brother last week. Both players made the decision to stay in Brazil and compete in their side's push for the second round. Yaya has had a quiet World Cup after a magnificent campaign for Manchester City in the Premier League, he is more than capable of taking over a game and winning it single-handed. The stage could be set for him this evening.

8.40pmDefensively the Ivory Coast were cut open at times by the attacking flair of Colombia so Kolo Toure has been drafted in alongside Sol Bamba to secure the backline. Serge Aurier had an excellent game against Japan in the opener, but struggled at the back so he will want to improve this evening and find his form as potential suitors watch him for a summer transfer away from Toulouse.

8.45pmREFEREE WATCH: The referee for today's match is Ecuador's Carlos Vera. He officiated the clash between Iran and Nigeria and handed out one yellow card in the fixture.

8.50pmPREDICTION: The Ivory Coast will advance to the second round of the tournament as they will have too much firepower for Greece, who will be forced to come out of their defensive shell today and that will make them easier to breakdown. Lamouchi's side to win 2-0 today.

8.55pmThe players are making their way out onto the pitch and we should be underway shortly.

1 minKICKOFF! We're underway in this Group C clash.

2 minGood start from Greece as they manage to get into the final third, but their two crosses from the left are ineffective as Lazaros's ball in doesn't beat the first man, while Holebas's cross is claimed with ease by Barry.

3 minThe Ivory Coast hit right back and Kalou finds space to run into down the left channel before he lays the ball into the path of Gervinho. The former Arsenal man crosses the ball into the area, but no player in green is there to attack the ball and it goes out for a goal kick.

5 minGreece win a free kick as Bamba is penalised for a high boot. Karagounis gets the chance to whip the ball into the box, but Samaras is guilty of fouling Drogba and the opportunity is spurned for Santos's men.

7 minA break in play as Holebas goes down clutching his face following an aerial battle with Drogba, but he appears to be ok to continue.

9 minNice play between Gervinho and Drogba sends the former Arsenal man free down the right channel for the Ivory Coast as the duo exchange a one-two. Gervinho breaks into the box, but Manolas does extremely well to get across the forward and gets rid of the danger as the ball goes behind for a corner.

11 minA big problem for Greece as Kone goes down clutching his hamstring in the middle of the field and his could be the end for his this evening.

12 minSUBSTITUTION: Kone is forced off and that is a major blow for Santos's side as he is replaced by Samaris in the midfield.

13 minAnother promising surge forward by the Ivory Coast as Gervinho feeds the run of Yaya Toure down the right. The midfielder hits a low cross into the area across the face of goal, but Karnezis does well to read the danger and gather the ball as Drogba lurked behind him.

14 minSantos's side push forward down the right themselves as Torosidis finds space to fire a low cross into the box for the run of Salpangidis, but Barry does just as well as Karnezis did beforehand to gather the ball at the feet of the striker.

16 minUPDATE! Colombia have taken the lead in their clash with Japan as Juan Cuadrado has fired them ahead from the penalty spot. For more on that game click here.

17 minThat goal is very good news for the Ivory Coast because as things stand they are heading into the second round of the tournament. They need only a point in this game to advance. Meanwhile, Karnezis appears to be in some trouble for Greece as he is clutching his back and requires treatment on the pitch.

19 minKarnezis is ok to continue for Greece after looking in some bother. The game continues as Holebas tries to get round the back of Aurier as he pushes forward to the edge of the box, but the defender does well to hold off the left-back and wins a free kick.

20 minBoth sides are struggling for rhythm so far and they really haven't been able to hold a meaningful spell of possession on the ball. The injuries haven't helped, but the standard particularly in the final third has not been up to standard so far.

22 minNearly an opening for the Ivory Coast as Yaya Toure crashes through the challenge of Karagounis and Samaris on the edge of the box and feeds the run of Drogba. The pass is too heavy for the striker and he can't keep the ball in play. Better play from Lamouchi's side but again the quality is lacking in the final third.

23 minSUBSTITUTION: Big problems for Greece as Karnezis is forced off and Glykos comes on to replace him between the posts. That's two changes used up for Santos now and his options off the bench are restricted now.

26 minThe tempo of the game is very slow at the moment. The Ivory Coast have taken up the mantle to try and control possession, but it's not meaningful as Tiote, Serey Die and Boka are exchanging passes at the back quite frequently. More penetration is required from Les Elephants.

30 minThe defending so far from both sides has been good as the Ivory Coast display good coverage at the back to prevent crosses from Salpangidis and Torosidis from finding Samaras in the box.

31 minBoka raids down the flank and tries to thread a ball behind Torosidis into the path of Drogba, but the defender reads the pass well and clears the ball behind for a corner.

33 minOFF THE BAR! Greece hit on the counter and come within inches of taking the lead as Samaras threads a through ball through for the run of Maniatis. The midfielder raids into the box running away from Kolo Toure and strikes an effort at goal which beats the outstretched hand of Barry but clatters off the bar. Lazaros is then fouled on the edge of the box as he tries to follow up on the rebound.

34 minSAVE! Karagounis strikes the 20-yard free kick at goal and his shot creeps through the wall, but Barry watches the ball all the way and gathers it with ease. Good spell from Greece and maybe just what they need to kick themselves into gear.

35 minThe Ivory Coast try to hit back as their four attacking players surge forward into the final third. It all gets a bit crowded on the edge of the box and Greece manage to win the ball back from Yaya Toure as he attempted to find Kalou.

37 minYELLOW CARD! Drogba goes into the book as he goes into a challenge with Samaris from behind. It's a poor tackle from the Ivory Coast skipper and the booking is deserved.

39 minLes Elephants look a bit bereft of ideas at the moment as Tiote's pass from the back sails straight past Drogba and goes straight to Glykos. They need to do a better job of feeding the former Chelsea striker and getting support to him in the final third of the pitch.

40 minGervinho moves forward and threads a pass into the path of Kalou who makes a good run into the box. Kalou tries to be too clever as he tries to find Gervinho again with a backheeled pass, but he gets his attempt all wrong and Glykos gathers with ease.

42 minGOAL! Greece 1-0 Ivory Coast (Samaris)

42 minGreece take the lead and it's a huge error from Tiote that gifts them the advantage. The Newcastle United man puts a sloppy pass back to Kolo Toure and Samaris seizes on it and plays a one-two with Samaras and then drives into box before firing an effort over Barry into the net. A huge goal for Greece, who as it stands now will go through into the last-16 of the tournament.

44 minCHANCE! Yaya Toure displays his power and skill as he runs past three players down the right and gets into the box. He tries to pull the trigger with a left-footed effort, but Manolas, Sokratis and Karagounis all manage to get back to block the effort into the path of Glykos. Better from Toure, but also good defending from Santos's men once again.

45 minThere will be four minutes of added time.

45 + 1 minUPDATE! Japan have grabbed an equalier in their clash with Colombia. Another goal will send them through into the last-16, so Greece still hold onto second place as it stands, but we could be in for an interesting second half in both these games.

45 + 3 minThe tempo has dropped in this game again as both sides seem quite content to see out the half.

45 + 4 minHALF-TIME: Greece 1-0 Ivory Coast

9.54pmAs it stands Greece are going through to the second round of the World Cup. What a half for them as they were sound defensively at the back and were a threat on the counter attack, they duly punished Tiote for his mistake and deserve their lead in Fortaleza as the Ivory Coast have been extremely poor.

9.57pmThe game couldn't have gone more to plan for Santos and his side. Defensively they have been excellent and have managed to subdue the threat of Drogba and Yaya Toure for the majority of the first 45 minutes. Samaras has been useful as the lone striker as he has linked up well with the midfield, while Samaris has been very impressive since coming onto the pitch to replace Kone. The Greece boss can only hope for the same in the second half.

10pmThe Ivory Coast need to get themselves in gear in the second half otherwise they are heading home and for their third exit in the group stage in a row at the World Cup. They've been lacklustre going forward and at times have tried to be too cute in the final third trying to find that extra touch that hasn't been allowed by the Greece defence. More decisiveness is needed for them to get a result here.

10.02pmThe players are back out on the pitch and we should be underway shortly.

46 minKICKOFF! We're back underway in Fortaleza.

47 minCHANCE! Greece come out strongly and almost double their lead as Samaras wins a header and knocks the ball into the path of Lazaros. The winger shoots first time and his effort is deflected just wide of the post by Bamba with Barry flat-footed. That shot could have gone anywhere.

49 minCHANCE! Strong running from Yaya Toure as he drives towards the edge of the box and feeds Serey Die, who gets dispossessed by an excellent challenge by Holebas. They keep the move going as the ball is played to Tiote 20 yards from goal and his shot is on target, but saved well by Glykos.

51 minThis is much better from the Ivory Coast as they've started the second half extremely well and are taking the game to Greece. Aurier sees a good low cross cleared by Sokratis ahead of his keeper as Drogba lurked, while Manolas has to be at his best to stop the run of Gervinho in the box. Asking questions of the stout Greece backline is a good start for Les Elephants.

54 minCHANCE! Lazaros comes so close to doubling his side's lead with an excellent move of his own making. The winger picks up the ball on the right and manages to drive past Serey Die and Bamba to get into the box, he then decides to shoot with the outside of his right foot and his effort goes inches past the post.

56 minIn case you didn't know the Greece centre-back pairing of Sokratis and Manolas have been outstanding in this tournament and they are further displaying their quality this evening. First Sokratis has to sprint to his left to stop Gervinho getting in behind the defence and manages to win a goal kick for his side. Then Manolas stops Gervinho again as he tried to latch onto a pass from Yaya Toure, but the defender managed to poke the ball away from him at the last second.

57 minUPDATE! Colombia are back in front in their clash with Japan as Jackson Martinez has fired them ahead. Either side in this game can advance now and we're set for an entertaining final 30 minutes.

58 minCHANCE! Greece come close again as this time Salpangidis picks up the ball outside of the area and with little backlift on his right foot he drives a powerful effort at goal, which Barry has to do well to beat away. Greece look a decent bet to progress here.

60 minSUBSTITUTION: Tiote comes off for the Ivory Coast and is replaced by Wilfried Bony. They need to go for broke now Lamouchi's side.

62 minYELLOW CARD! Greece break upfield in a dangerous three-on-one at the back as Lazaros finds the run of Salapangidis. The winger gets to the edge of the box and tries to turn and then is brought down by Kalou, who takes one for the team by bringing him down, but another chance to threaten for Greece.

63 minKaragounis takes the free kick and blasts his effort straight into the wall, while Salpangidis fires well wide on the rebound with a left-footed volley. That was a waste for Santos's side.

67 minCHANCE! Kalou creates an opening for his side of his own making as he collects the ball down the left. The former Chelsea man bursts through the challenge of Torosidis and Salpangidis and then blasts a right-footed shot at goal, which goes just wide of the post.

68 minOFF THE BAR! Greece come so close again! Karagounis picks the ball up in midfield and has nothing on so he decides to go for goal himself from 35 yards and his effort cannons off the crossbar and goes over. A brilliant shot that deserved to find the net.

69 minThe Ivory Coast do well to try and hit Greece on turn in a counter. Drogba receives a pass from Gervinho inside the area and the striker lifts a cross over to Kalou, who tries to take the ball inside the area, but Maniatis comes across to make a great tackle to stop the attack. Great defending by Greece yet again.

70 minYELLOW CARD! Another dangerous break from Greece sees Holebas surge up the middle of the field and he gets to the edge of the box before he gets tripped by Serey Die. The defender tries to stay on his feet but he loses his balance and the referee books the midfielder and awards the free kick to Greece.

71 minCLOSE! Lazaros takes the free kick and his effort has power and direction, but it goes just over he bar and bristles the top of the net at it sails over the top.

74 minGOAL! Greece 1-1 Ivory Coast (Bony)

74 minThe Ivory Coast are back in the game and as it stands will go through into the second round of the tournament as Bony fires them level. Gervinho collected a through ball from Yaya Toure and squared a pass to Bony in the middle and the Swansea City striker placed the ball past Glykos into the bottom corner. What a final 15 minutes we have on our hands here.

77 minSUBSTITUTION: Karagounis makes way as his side chase the game as Gekas replaces him.

78 minSUBSTITUTION: Drogba also comes off for the Ivory Coast and is replaced by Diomande.

79 minGreece are pressing the Ivory Coast now in a stark contrast to the opening 30 minutes of this half, as now it's Lamouchi's side who throwing all hands to the pump and the back and seem to be quite nervy, with a few panicked clearances.

80 minOFF THE POST! Greece hit the woodwork again and this time it's Torosidis who nearly catches Barry out at his near post as the Ivorian left a large gap exposed, but fortunately for him it clattered off the post and went wide.

83 minSUBSTITUTION: Gervinho comes off for Sio after 83 minutes. The former Arsenal striker played the pivotal pass setting up Bony for his side's equaliser.

83 minUPDATE! Japan are surely out of the World Cup now as Jackson Martinez has scored his second goal of the game to fire Colombia 3-1 ahead in their clash.

84 minCHANCE! The ball sits up well for Lazaros outside of the area and he drills an effort on the half-volley at goal which skips nicely off the pitch and picks up pace, but goes just wide of the post.

87 minCHANCE! Torosidis slides a through ball for the run of Salpangidis down the middle and the winger fires the ball across the face of goal, with only a touch needed for the ball to cross the line, but Kolo Toure and Aurier do well to avoid the ball as it fizzes out of the six-yard box. That was close.

89 minGreece win a free kick as Kalou is penalised for a foul on Holebas. Lazaros takes the free kick and it's cleared upfield allowing Kalou to break. He slides pass to Yaya Toure, who tries to shoot at goal but he gets crowded out and Greece clear for now.

90 minThere will be three minutes of added time.


90 + 2 minGOAL! Greece 2-1 Ivory Coast (Samaras PEN)

90 + 2 minWhat scenes in Fortleza as Samaras is hauled down in the area by Sio and the referee rightly points to the spot. Samaras takes the spot kick himself with the power to fire his side into the second round of the tournament for the first time in their history and he made no mistake firing the ball into the top corner. A great finish and what an ending to this game.

90 + 3 minFULL-TIME: Greece 2-1 Ivory Coast

10.55pmGreece are through to the second round of the World Cup where they will have an excellent chance to progress to the quarter-finals when they take on Costa Rica. What a finish to the game as they looked dead and buried but Holebas's whipped cross into the box fell for Samaras nicely and Sio put in a clumsy tackle and the striker did the rest. It was no more than Greece deserved as they could have been further ahead if not for the woodwork this evening.

10.57pmWhat a disaster for the Ivory Coast who crash out of the World Cup at the group stage for the third successive tournament. Their golden age of players has failed to deliver again as they seemed to crack under the pressure in the second half. They nearly got out of jail when Bony scored his equalising goal, but Greece managed to rally and get their goal.

10.59pmColombia beat Japan 4-1 in the other fixture so Colombia along with Greece progress from Group C, in what has been a very entertaining round of matches. Thanks for joining our commentary this evening. Stay with Sports Mole for our continued coverage of the World Cup, but from me it's goodbye.

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Greece's Portuguese coach Fernando Santos is pictured during a 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
Read Next:
Santos: 'Greece here on merit'

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