World Cup 2014 Group C: Colombia 3-0 Greece | inside World Soccer

Goals from Pablo Armero, Teófilo Gutiérrez, and James Rodríguez ensured Colombia made a winning return to the World Cup with a 3-0 win over Greece in Belo Horizonte on Saturday.


The South Americans, making a first World Cup appearance since 1998, took the lead after just five minutes when Armero's shot bobbled past Orestis Karnezis following a wicked deflection off Konstantinos Manolas.

Colombia doubled their lead just before the hour mark as Gutiérrez turned the ball into an unguarded net after Abel Aguilar had flicked Rodríguez's corner into his path.

Greece should have reduced the deficit just a few minutes later, but Theofanis Gekas incredibly turned a free header on to the crossbar from five yards.

And Colombia duly put the gloss on a fine win as the influential Rodríguez placed the ball in from the edge of the area in stoppage time.

"We're really happy. It's a good start. It was a good debut with players who had never played a World Cup. It's a big satisfaction," said Colombia coach José Pékerman.

"This is how we planned this match. Some things turned out the way we wanted, some things didn't, but we were very concentrated and showed that we're here to play a good World Cup."

Rodríguez added: "It's a good start, but we have to be calm for what's ahead, which will be even more difficult."

Greece coach Fernando Santos said: "Congratulations to Colombia, they were the better team and fairly won 3-0.

"We had opportunities, we had effort but we paid for our mistakes."

Lineups:

Colombia: Ospina; Juan Camilo Zúñiga, Cristián Zapata, Mario Yepes, Pablo Armero (Santiago Arias 74); Abel Aguilar (Alexander Mejía 69), Carlos Sánchez; Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, James Rodríguez, Víctor Ibarbo; Teófilo Gutiérrez (Jackson Martínez 76)

Greece: Orestis Karnezis; Vasilis Torosidis, Konstantinos Manolas, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, José Holebas; Dimitris Salpingidis (Ioannis Fetfatzidis 57), Ioannis Maniatis, Panagiotis Kone (Georgios Karagounis 78); Konstantinos Katsouranis; Georgios Samaras, Theofanis Gekas (Konstantinos Mitroglu 64)


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