Colombia got off to winning ways in their Group C opener with a convincing 3-0 win over Greece with Teo Guttierez and James Rodriguez sealing the three points after Pablo Armero broke the deadlock.
West Ham’s Armero, 27, scored the game’s opening goal after just five minutes but it had more than a hint of good fortune about it.
James Rodriguez’s lofted through ball was brought down by Juan Guillermo Cuadrado. The Fiorentina winger cut the ball across goal and a cheeky dummy by the on-rushing Rodriguez opened up space for Armero whose shot squirmed past Orestis Karnezis after a deflection off Kostas Manolas.
Colombia doubled their lead twelve minutes into the second half thanks to a Teo Gutierrez tap in after a neat corner routine. Rodriguez’s delivery was flicked on by Abel Aguila and Gutierrez was in the right place in the right time to score from two yards.
Rodriguez completed a fine performance by his team and him personally by completing the scoring in added time. A quickly taken free-kick from Juan Camilo Zuniga was picked up by Cuadrado who sprinted with determination at the Greece back line, a lovely one-two with Zuniga ended up at the feet of man of the match Rodriguez who steadied himself before slotting home the third first time to Karnezis’ right.
Greece could have levelled the scores in the first half though a minute after Armero’s goal when a Georgios Samaras pass from the left hand side of the box was sliced wide by Panagiotis Kone.
Kone had another decent chance for the Greeks just before the break when his curling shot from outside of the area was palmed out for a corner by Colombia ‘keeper David Ospina, which came to nothing.
Before that though Vasilis Torosidis headed a Jose Holebas free-kick wide.
Celtic striker Samaras went down in the box two minutes into the second half but there was no contact and the referee rightly decided not to award a penalty.
Theofanis Gekas had the best chance for the Euro 2004 champions when his header from close range cannoned off the bar when he really should have scored. It was a double blow for Gekas as he was replaced by Kostas Mitroglou straight after.
Greece could not find a way back into the game, although they did have another penalty shout, again turned down. Samaras found Torosidis and the defender went down like he had been shot after minimal contact. Correct decision again by the referee.