- Columbia 3-0 Greece
- Ivory Coast 2-1 Japan
- Colombia 2-1 Ivory Coast
- Japan 0-0 Greece
- Japan 1-4 Colombia
- Greece 2-1 Ivory Coast
Kone and Aguillar, the No.8's of Greece and Columbia
COLUMBIA v GREECE
June 14th, Belo Horizonte
01 Ospina, 18 Zuñiga, 07 Armero (Arias - 74'), 06 Sánchez (Booked), 02 Zapata, 03 Yepes, 11 Cuadrado, 08 Aguilar (Mejía - 69'), 09 Gutiérrez (Martinez - 76'), 10 Rodríguez, 14 Ibarbo
04 Arias, 05 Carbonero, 12 Vargas, 15 Mejía, 16 Balanta, 17 Bacca, 19 Ramos, 20 Quintero, 21 Martinez, 22 Mondragón, 23 Valdés
01 Karnezis, 15 Torosidis, 20 Holebas, 08 Kone (Karagounis - 78'), 04 Manolas, 19 Papastathopoulos (Booked), 14 Salpingidis (Booked) (Fetfatzidis - 57'), 21 Katsouranis, 17 Gekas (Mitroglou - 64'), 02 Maniatis, 07 Samaras
03 Tzavellas, 05 Moras, 06 Tziolis, 09 Mitroglou, 10 Karagounis, 11 Vyntra, 12 Glykos, 13 Kapino, 16 Christodoulopoulos, 18 Fetfatzidis, 22 Samaris, 23 Tachtsidis
My group kicks off as I am away from a TV; in fact I am in my car setting off from Park Gate on the way to London, the boot is full of drums and bags and other bits and bobs an infrequently gigging punk band need. As we’re heading for Stockwell from east of Southampton we decide on the A3, and I discover that the 5 Live reception on this route is shocking, so instead opt for a shuffle through an iPod full of noise nonsense.
It’s a nice drive, until we get to London when the traffic slows to a stop, but on the plus side we can get 5Live. Columbia are already 1-0 up, they scored in the 5th minute when Pablo Armero rolled in Juan Cuadrado's cut-back. As we tuned in the commentator was talking to Pat Nevin and then seemed surprised when Teofilo Gutierrez scored from a James Rodriguez corner. How a radio commentator can be taken by surprise by a goal that comes from a corner I don’t know, but he did.
After that, Greece had a few chances but Colombia sealed victory with a stylish late goal; Fiorentina midfielder Cuadrado burst to the edge of the penalty area before setting up Rodriguez to guide a shot into the corner of the net.
From the Highlights Columbia looked good, but then we all know what highlights are like, but the radio commentary that I did hear seemed to back that up. I liked the pronunciation of Rodriguez’s first name – Ham-ez - too.
The gig we played was crap by the way. Who’d have thought a gig with four fairly unknown bands, playing a record release gig for a record that’s not yet out, on the night when England play their first World Cup game wouldn’t draw a crowd? Still, before we played I was sat on a sofa with a cup of tea watching footer on TV, now that’s punk rock.
- Armero 5′
- Gutiérrez 58′
- Rodríguez 90′
Ref: Mark Geiger
- Colombia 48%
- Greece 52%
- Colombia 13
- Greece 11
- Colombia 6
- Greece 2
- Colombia 4
- Greece 4
- Colombia 19
- Greece 14
Ivory Coast's Gervinho (10) and Drogba (11) celebrating
JAPAN v IVORY COAST
June 15th, Brasilia
01 Barry, 17 Aurier, 03 Boka (Djakpa - 75'), 20 Gonzaroua Die (Drogba - 62'), 05 Zokora (Booked), 22 Bamba (Booked), 08 Kalou, 09 Tioté, 12 Bony (Ya Konan - 78'), 19 Y Touré, 10 Gervinho
02 Diarrassouba, 04 K Touré, 06 Bolly, 07 Akpa-Akpro, 11 Drogba, 13 Ya Konan, 14 Diomande, 15 Gradel, 16 Gbohouo, 18 Djakpa, 21 Sio, 23 Mandé
01 Kawashima, 02 Uchida, 05 Nagatomo, 17 Hasebe (Endo - 54'), 06 Morishige (Booked), 22 Yoshida (Booked), 09 Okazaki, 16 Yamaguchi, 18 Osako (Okubo - 67'), 04 Honda, 10 Kagawa (Kakitani - 86')
03 Sakai, 07 Endo, 08 Kiyotake, 11 Kakitani, 12 Nishikawa, 13 Okubo, 14 Aoyama, 15 Konno, 19 Inoha, 20 Saito, 21 Sakai, 23 Gonda
I missed this game too. I was home, but as it kicked off at 2 am, and I’d arrived back from London after 12:30, and had to be up and at the Sports Centre for 8 am, I was in bed. Even if I had tried to watch it I’d have been asleep before the end of the anthems. So this report is written from the highlights show, and the BBC website.
Ivory Coast are appearing in their third World Cup and have never gone past the group stage in the other three, but showed that they may do better this time with a decent performance.
Japan took the lead though, with a goal from Honda after 16 minutes, and a pretty good strike it was as well. I used to like Honda, with his blond hair and familiar name, but apparently he has been advertising McDonalds, so I’m shunning him now. Boooo.
Ivory Coast, maybe surprisingly (or maybe not, given his age), left out Drogba but it wasn’t until shortly after his introduction, in the 64th minute, that Swansea striker Bony equalised, heading in an Aurier cross.
Two minutes later, Aurier set up a second, this time scored by Gervinho, who may not have done too well at Arsenal, but has just had a pretty good season at Roma. His header squirmed past Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, who probably should have done better.
It was a shame that Japan lost, as I want Yoshida to do well, and they may well find it difficult to qualify now, but it will be interesting to see how far the Ivory Coast can go.
That’s about all I can remember I’m afraid.
I managed to get sun burnt at the Sports Centre, even though it wasn’t sunny.
- Bony 64′
- Gervinho 66′
- Honda 16′
Ref: Enrique Osses
- Ivory Coast 58%
- Japan 42%
- Ivory Coast 21
- Japan 7
- Ivory Coast 5
- Japan 2
- Ivory Coast 8
- Japan 5
- Ivory Coast 12
- Japan 13
Rodríguez (10) made a nuisance of himself in the Ivory Coast penalty area
COLUMBIA v IVORY COAST
19th June, Brasilia
01 Ospina, 18 Zuñiga, 07 Armero (Arias - 72'), 06 Sánchez, 02 Zapata, 03 Yepes, 11 Cuadrado, 08 Aguilar (Mejía - 79'), 09 Gutiérrez, 10 Rodríguez, 14 Ibarbo (Quintero - 53')
04 Arias, 05 Carbonero, 12 Vargas, 13 Guarín, 15 Mejía, 16 Balanta, 19 Ramos, 20 Quintero, 21 Martinez, 22 Mondragón, 23 Valdés
01 Barry, 17 Aurier, 03 Boka, 20 Gonzaroua Die (Bolly - 73'), 05 Zokora (Booked), 22 Bamba, 15 Gradel (Kalou - 67'), 09 Tioté (Booked), 12 Bony (Drogba - 60'), 19 Y Touré, 10 Gervinho
02 Diarrassouba, 04 K Touré, 06 Bolly, 07 Akpa-Akpro, 08 Kalou, 11 Drogba, 14 Diomande, 16 Gbohouo, 18 Djakpa, 21 Sio, 23 Mandé
The third game in this group and it's another that I'm not able to watch in its entirety; this time I'm at work, at least for first half, and although I had it on my screen, it was minimised and there was no sound – so it wasn't all bad. A couple of things I did notice while trying to work - an Ivory Coast player gave a way a foul and then had a strop and Gutiérrez missed a real sitter. From what I could make out Columbia were on top.
I was in the car and on my way home for the second half. Surprisingly there was actually a commentary team that didn't wind me up; Connor McNamara and Kevin Kilbane (I know, I was surprised too) didn't try to make themselves central to the production, they just described the action and managed to get across the excitement and colour of what they were seeing and the game sounded as though it was thoroughly enjoyable, it was very refreshing.
Another great thing about the radio is that you can let you imagination run wild; Columbia have a player called Zapata, so in my mind there was someone on the pitch with a big moustache, a huge sombrero and a couple of bullet belts slung round his shoulders, and that made me grin like a loon all the way home. Columbia scored, through James (Ham-ez) Rodriguez, just as I had to stop off to go buy some essentials - soya milk and fruit juice. I was in the shop for just a few minutes and when I got back in the car Gervinho scored for Ivory Coast. I was surprised to find out that made it 2-1, rather than 1-1 as I had assumed.
I got home and watched the rest on the TV and the difference in commentary was amazing, the description of the excitement and drama of the game was replaced by the doom and gloom of a very negative sounding Lawrenson (the radio concentrated on the fine goals, Lawrenson on the defensive mistakes).
Columbia withstood a late Ivory Coast onslaught to win the game, and I have decided that I like them, they are now my team for the World Cup - Viva Zapata!
- Rodríguez 64′
- Quintero 70′
- Gervinho 73′
Ref: Howard Webb
- Colombia 45%
- Ivory Coast 55%
- Colombia 11
- Ivory Coast 13
- Colombia 6
- Ivory Coast 3
- Colombia 5
- Ivory Coast 5
- Colombia 11
- Ivory Coast 14
Katsouranis collected two yellows and a red, as the Greeks went for the dirtiest team in the World Cup award
JAPAN v GREECE
19th June, Natal
01 Kawashima, 02 Uchida, 05 Nagatomo, 16 Yamaguchi, 22 Yoshida, 15 Konno, 13 Okubo, 17 Hasebe (Booked) (Endo - 45'), 18 Osako (Kagawa - 57'), 04 Honda, 09 Okazaki
03 Sakai, 06 Morishige, 07 Endo, 08 Kiyotake, 10 Kagawa, 11 Kakitani, 12 Nishikawa, 14 Aoyama, 19 Inoha, 20 Saito, 21 Sakai, 23 Gonda
01 Karnezis, 15 Torosidis (Booked), 20 Holebas, 21 Katsouranis (Dismissed after an earlier booking), 04 Manolas, 19 Papastathopoulos, 02 Maniatis, 08 Kone (Salpingidis - 81'), 09 Mitroglou (Gekas - 35'), 18 Fetfatzidis (Karagounis - 42'), 07 Samaras (Booked)
03 Tzavellas, 05 Moras, 06 Tziolis, 10 Karagounis, 11 Vyntra, 12 Glykos, 13 Kapino, 14 Salpingidis, 16 Christodoulopoulos, 17 Gekas, 22 Samaris, 23 Tachtsidis
There's nothing to make your heart sink faster than turning on the TV to hear '… and first, Jonathan Pearce.' He is one of the worst commentators, he get's indignant, he over reacts and he doesn't seem to see the most obvious of things.
On the plus side, Yoshida is playing, and the Japanese fans seem to have blown up blue plastic bags; I do like Japanese idiosyncrasies.
It only took about ten minutes for the Mexican wave to start, that tale tell sign of increased crowd noise when not too much is happening on the pitch.
I don't know too much about the Greeks really (The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing), but I guess the fact that Socrates is playing means they've gone for experience.
The game was failing to hold my attention, and I was playing around with my phone (B was already asleep on the sofa) when the Greek captain dived in on the Japanese captain, received his second yellow card and trudged off. Greece then had a little flurry of activity around the Japanese penalty area, but the game soon fell back into the routine of Japan attacking and Greece soaking up the pressure.
At half time I pressed 'record' and went to bed.
Up bright and early and before 7am, even before putting the kettle on, I'm watching the second half. Japan have brought Endo on, and Samaras tries to score straight from the kick off; the goal was open and I thought he should have done better.
Japan carry on trying to play footer, while Greece look like they are trying to intimidate them. And then they nearly score, causing the keeper to make a good save from a corner.
Jonathan Pearce's voice is like an annoying mosquito, it's always there whining in the corner of the room that you just can't get rid of.
Karagounis is like an angry, sweaty Louie Spence, always in the ref's face, waving his jazz hands and staring manically.
Yoshida gets punched in the face by his own keeper, I guess it saved a Greek player having to do it.
The best bit of football came on 67 minutes, a flowing exchange of passes from Japan ended with the ball being blazed high and wide at the far post. Such a disappointing end to a decent move.
Although Yoshida ended up in the Greek penalty area as much as his own, it finished 0-0. Japan played well in places, but their final ball was a bit rubbish, Greece were roughty tufty and once they went down to ten men decided they weren't going to lose. Not the best game.
Ref: Joel Aguilar
- Japan 74%
- Greece 26%
- Japan 18
- Greece 9
- Japan 4
- Greece 4
- Japan 5
- Greece 7
- Japan 23
- Greece 18
Okazaki scored for Japan, as they were well beaten by Columbia
Japan v Columbia
24th June, Culaba
01 Kawashima, 02 Uchida, 05 Nagatomo, 17 Hasebe, 22 Yoshida, 15 Konno (Booked), 09 Okazaki (Kakitani - 69' ), 14 Aoyama (Yamaguchi - 62' ), 13 Okubo, 04 Honda, 10 Kagawa (Kiyotake - 85' )
03 Sakai, 06 Morishige, 07 Endo, 08 Kiyotake, 11 Kakitani, 12 Nishikawa, 16 Yamaguchi, 18 Osako, 19 Inoha, 20 Saito, 21 Sakai, 23 Gonda
01 Ospina (Mondragón - 85' ), 04 Arias, 07 Armero, 15 Mejía, 23 Valdés, 16 Balanta, 11 Cuadrado (Carbonero - 45' ), 13 Guarín (Booked), 19 Ramos, 20 Quintero (Rodríguez - 45' ), 21 Martinez
02 Zapata, 03 Yepes, 05 Carbonero, 06 Sánchez, 08 Aguilar, 09 Gutiérrez, 10 Rodríguez, 12 Vargas, 14 Ibarbo, 17 Bacca, 18 Zuñiga, 22 Mondragón
Columbia made eight changes for this game with my favourites Rodriguez and Zapata rested. Looking at the line up, none of them had me expecting big moustaches, sombreros and bullet belts, which was a shame. As the players came out of the tunnel I was left hoping that all the changes wouldn't stop us seeing the sort of footer from them that has won my heart so far. Japan's team looked ok, so I was looking forward to the game.
But then things took a turn for the worse, Jonathan Pearce and Mark Lawrenson were commentating and Pearce started moaning before the game even kicked off. Then he started talking about Suarez, he is such a bore.
The game started quite brightly, lots of attacking, Japan were on the front foot, with Columbia looking to hit them on the break, there was some good footer, Yoshida looked confident and cool but up front Japan didn't seem to be able to hit the target.
The commentating buffoons occupied themselves talking about how England should have taken Terry and Cole, sheesh, and despite what you might have thought from listening to them, there was a pretty decent game going on that didn't feature English has-beens or Uruguayan shoulder munchers. And then there was a penalty to Columbia after Yasuyuki Konno's brought down Adrian Ramos… Goooooooooooooool. Cuadrado smashed it down the middle.
On 20 minutes a cup of tea arrived along with a piping hot, vegan friendly, scone (are scones meant to be hot? I don't know much about these things). You don't get catering or service like that at St Marys you know.
Columbia were playing the better footer, but Japan were still attacking more, although they still couldn't work the keeper.
Columbia's number 21, Martinez, looks just like my brother-in-law, and their coach looks like Alan Pardew's older brother.
During one of Japan's many attacks Yoshida was fouled on the edge of the area, Honda took the free kick and it just went wide, up the other end Columbia's subs were warming up by doing what looked like a conga behind the goal, and there was a Japanese flag in the crowd that looked alive, however, on closer inspection it was just a bald man who'd painted his head and face red and stuck it though a hole in a white sheet. Back on the pitch a player the two idiots with microphones had been moaning about, Japan's Okubo, went for an over head kick in the Columbian penalty area, it went over, but it wasn't a bad effort.
Just before half time my brother-in-law, sorry, Martinez scuffed a shot that would have rounded off a nice Columbia move. He really should have made it 2-0, but didn't, and then Japan went up the other end and scored. Shinji Okazaki headed in a cross from Honda, it was the very last touch of the half. Japan celebrated and Columbia trudged off.
Japan's equaliser seemed to have forced the Columbian coach's hand and he brought Rodriguez on for the second half, if nothing else it meant that the commentators at last sounded a little bit positive about something, and with good reason, straight away he was bright and full of running. On 54 minutes he set up Martinez to score Columbia's second goal. It was a good finish but the run, feint and pass from Rodriguez were great to watch. After that Japan went straight on the attack and after Kagawa's high, wide shot, they nearly scored from a dangerous cross into the six yard box. A few minutes later Honda had a long range free kick beaten out by the keeper and Okuba came very close from a whipped in cross.
Japan were really going for it, launching attack after attack. Columbia are soaking it up and trying to hit them on ht break. And that's just what they did, a sweeping move ended with another fine finish from Martinez to make it 3-1. Again Japan could, and maybe should have scored straight away, Kagawa shot wide.
Columbia brought on 43 year old goalkeeper Mondragon as a sub, for no other reason than it was a nice thing to do with the game all but won. To put the icing on the cake for Columbia, Rodriguez turned Yoshida inside out in the area and chipped the keeper to make it 4-1; a superb goal.
I really enjoyed this game, and although I'm sad to see Yoshida and Japan go out at least they gave it a good go, and I'm really looking forward to seeing more from this Columbia side.
- Okazaki 45′
- Cuadrado 17′ (pen)
- Martinez 55′, 82′
- Rodríguez 89′
Ref: Pedro Proença
- Japan 61%
- Colombia 39%
- Japan 24
- Colombia 13
- Japan 7
- Colombia 4
- Japan 9
- Colombia 2
- Japan 10
- Colombia 18
Greece celebrated hard after their shock win
Greece v Ivory Coast
24th June, Fortaleza
01 Karnezis (Glykos - 24' ), 15 Torosidis, 20 Holebas, 10 Karagounis (Gekas - 78' ), 04 Manolas, 19 Papastathopoulos, 14 Salpingidis, 02 Maniatis, 07 Samaras, 08 Kone (Samaris - 12' ), 16 Christodoulopoulos
03 Tzavellas, 05 Moras, 06 Tziolis, 09 Mitroglou, 11 Vyntra, 12 Glykos, 13 Kapino, 17 Gekas, 18 Fetfatzidis, 22 Samaris, 23 Tachtsidis
01 Barry, 17 Aurier, 03 Boka, 20 Gonzaroua Die (Booked), 04 K Touré, 22 Bamba, 08 Kalou (Booked), 09 Tioté (Bony - 61' ), 11 Drogba (Booked), (Diomande - 78' ), 19 Y Touré, 10 Gervinho (Sio - 83' )
02 Diarrassouba, 06 Bolly, 07 Akpa-Akpro, 12 Bony, 13 Ya Konan, 14 Diomande, 15 Gradel, 16 Gbohouo, 18 Djakpa, 21 Sio, 23 Mandé
Georgios Samaras scored from a controversial penalty deep into injury time, when the referee decided that Giovanni Sio had fouled Samaras in the penalty area. The Ivorians were incensed, claiming with some justification having watched the replays, that Samaras had kicked the ground and then fallen over, but the referee, Carlos Vera, was having none of it and pointed to the spot.
Ivory Coast had started the day in second spot and with several stars in their ranks could have expected to progress to the last 16. The reality is that they end up being too cautious too often, a result of the level of unrealistic expectation levels of their countrymen.
Greece started their day bottom of their group, and things did not look too good for them when they had to make a couple of substitutions within the first half an hour, including their goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis with a back injury.
In spite of these misfortunes, Greece still looked the more enterprising, with Samaras leading the attack. In the dying minutes of the first half they took the lead, courtesy of a goal from the Olympiakos midfielder, Alexandros Samaris.
Ivory Coast stepped up their game and had far more possession in the early part of the second half, but a goal would not come. During this period Karagounis managed to hit the crossbar with a speculative long range shot. It was not until past the 70th minute that the African side managed an equaliser from a rapid counter-attack with Gervinho providing the assist for Bony to shoot past the substitute goalkeeper.
The Ivory Coast bench and the fans celebrated as surely that would be enough to see them progress, but it all turned to dust for them with the 93rd minute penalty.
Greece now face Ivory Coast in Recife on Sunday, 29th June at 9pm. I am sure that it will not have escaped your attention that if England had won their group, instead of finishing bottom . . . . . . . .
- Samaris 42′
- Samaras 90′ (pen)
- Bony 74′
Ref: Carlos Vera
- Greece 46%
- Ivory Coast 54%
- Greece 13
- Ivory Coast 13
- Greece 5
- Ivory Coast 4
- Greece 4
- Ivory Coast 7
Greece 12 Ivory Coast 23