Japan

Colombia 2-1 Ivory Coast: Clinical Colombians cast aside Cote d’Ivorie

Colombia continued their 100% record in the 2014 World Cup with a 2-1 win over Ivory Coast. Goals from James Rodriguez  and Juan Fernando Quintero made Gervinho’s goal in reply only mere consolation.

Tricolor were slow to get out of gear but found full throttle after 64 minutes when Rodriguez headed in from Juan Guillermo Cuadrado’s corner.

Substitute Quintero doubled the lead six minutes later when Colombia accelerated on the counter attack. Teofilo Gutierrez had options left and right and opted right to Quintero who sealed the win.

Gervinho hit back soon after, just three minutes after the game looked dead and buried when he cleverly jinked past two Colombian defenders and then beat David Ospina at his near post.

Party time: Juan Quintero settles the tie and the celebration of the tournament ensues.

Party time: Juan Quintero settles the tie and the celebration of the tournament ensues.

The first half was a cagey affair with the only main chance coming to Gutierrez who spooned a shot wide when he was in space – a poor miss.

Despite increased pressure the Ivory Coast couldn’t find the much needed leveler and now face a crucial match against Greece to decide their fate.

Didier Zokora will miss the game through suspension however as he picked up his second booking in two games.

Colombia meanwhile play Japan knowing just a draw will cement themselves as group winners whatever happens in Japan’s game against Greece later on today.

Ghana 1-2 USA

A very early goal from Clint Dempsey and a very late goal from John Brookes Junior won the United States of America their first match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s side could not have started better, after just 29 seconds they were ahead. USA burst forward through Clint Dempsey who darted past John Boye with a tidy nutmeg, taking one more touch and then firing low and hard past Adam Kwarasey in off the post.

It was the fifth fastest goal in World Cup history, 19 seconds slower than Hakan Suker’s strike for Turkey in 2002.

Dempsey became the first American to score at three successive World Cups.

Ghana leveled eight minutes before the end thanks to Andre Ayew scoring with the outside of his boot following a Sulley Muntari set-up with a cheeky back heel.

John Brookes Junior scored the dramatic late winner with a powerful downward header with four minutes left on the clock. The German born defender with his first International goal to send USA level on points with his native country in Group E.

USA were dealt a blow after twenty minutes though when Jozy Altidore was stretchered off with a strained left hamstring he picked up while running that put the rest of his tournament in serious doubt.

Goalscorer Dempsey was clattered soon after – taking a boot to the face – a nosebleed followed but, unlike Altidore, could carry on.

Star Spangled Start: USA score in seconds.

Star Spangled Start: USA score in seconds.

Just before that however Ghana started to threaten, first Christian Atsu curled wide and then Asamoah Gyan stung the palms of Tim Howard with a shot from long range on 32 minutes that Everton stopper did well to keep out

The second half started how the first finished – with Ghana on the front foot. Muntari wasn’t far off with a powerful drive and Gyan headed over soon after.

Gyan was largely wasteful throughout, screwing another chance wide on the hour mark.

The Black Stars will feel a slight sense of misfortune at full time as they had 21 shots to America’s eight but they just were not clinical enough and were duly punished.

America meanwhile go into a crucial match against Portugal knowing they are capable of winning games without particularly playing well and may take confidence from the 2002 in South Korea/Japan where they overcame Portugal’s so called “Golden Generation 3-2. A side that included the likes of Luis Figo, Rui Costa and Sergio Conceicao.

 

 

Ivory Coast 2-1 Japan

Two goals in quick succession secured a superb turnaround by the Ivory Coast against Japan as Didier Drogba and co joined Colombia on three points in Group C

Japan raced into a 1-0 lead after Keisuke Honda motored through the back four and hit a driven shot into the top corner with 16 minutes on the clock.

The Ivory Coast drew lever with twenty five minutes when Serge Aurier’s sweeping cross by headed in by a charging Wilfried Bony, the goal.

Amazingly the West Africans took the lead straight after, another Aurier cross from a similar position was headed in by Gervinho this time and withing two minutes the Ivory Coast had gone from one goal down to one goal up.

Didier Drogba had entered the fray just after the hour and his introduction clearly had an impact, although not having a direct impact in the goals, Drogba’s arrival seemed to lift the team as a whole.

He had a chance of his own in the last ten minutes but his free-kick was tipped wide by Eiji Kawashima.

A shot of his was also deflected past the goalmouth with five minutes remaining.

Following Honda’s goal, Japan were the team in a different gear early on, Atsuto Uchida almost doubled Japan’s advantage five minutes later after he jinked inside one Ivorian defender but could only shoot straight at Boubacar Barry who steered it away.

Yaya Toure was the driving force for Cote d’Ivorie, firing a free-kick over the bar and setting up Solomon Kalou who wasted a chance.

Arthur Boka rifled one from range that Kawashima parried out only as far as Wilfried Bony but the Swansea man was offside.

Kalou had a golden opportunity just before half time but his header was misjudged and sailed well wide when the ‘keeper should have been tested.

Despite his early goal, Japan’s play-maker Honda stalled for the rest of the game, couldn’t build on their lead and were ultimately punished by the ability of the forwards at the disposal of Sabri Lamouchi’s and his side.