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Colombia beats Greece 3-0 in Group C opener

Associated Press

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) -- Colombia started its first World Cup campaign in 16 years in dazzling fashion, beating Greece 3-0 to open Group C on Saturday in front of a big, loud pro-Colombian crowd.

Left back Armero opened the scoring in the fifth minute when his deflected shot rolled past Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis. Striker Teofilo Gutierrez poked in Colombia's second goal from a deflected corner in the 58th and James Rodriguez capped it off with a low shot in stoppage time after a slick backheel flick from Juan Cuadrado.

Colombia's pace and trickery were too much for Greece to handle in the latter stages as the 57,174 crowd, most dressed in bright yellow shirts, constantly chanted "Ole, ole" at Estadio Mineriao.

"It was a good debut with players who had never played a World Cup. It's a big satisfaction," Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said. "This is how we planned this match. Some things turned out the way we wanted, some things didn't, but we were very focused and showed that we're here to play a good World Cup."

Rodriguez said the result showed Colombia was on the right path.

"It's a good start, but we have to be calm for what's ahead, which will be even more difficult," he said, looking ahead at Group C matches against Ivory Coast and Japan.

Greece had the majority of possession with 54 percent, but whenever Colombia players got hold of the ball, they blazed down the flanks and through the middle of the pitch, disorientating their opponents.

The Greeks had a chance to pull a goal back after Gutierrez scored, but an unmarked Georgios Samaras rattled the crossbar from two yards out.

There were other chances, too. Panagiotis Kone's shot went just wide in the first half. Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina then made an outstanding reaction save to deny Kone just before halftime.

"You can't make excuses when you lose 3-0," Greece coach Fernando Santos said. "We had good spells of play and all we can do now is look at the next matches."

Kone said Greece didn't make the most of its possession and the chances it created.

"The score doesn't show it, but I think we played well," he said. "But these games are turned on the details, and they didn't work for us today. We're still proud to be here, and we'll continue to play hard."

Greece defenders started getting frustrated with Colombia's pace in the second half and began to foul the South Americans, with two players picked up yellow cards within minutes.

The result will give Colombia confidence that it can win competitive matches without star striker Radamel Falcao, who was ruled out after failing to recover from a serious knee injury. The other Group C teams, Ivory Coast and Japan, were playing later Saturday.

Greece will now have to regroup ahead of its second match against Japan after its notoriously solid defense leaked three goals.

Colombians Celebrate World Cup Win Over Greece

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oh_come_on June 14 2014 at 7:13 PM

I would rather get poked in the eye then watch a joke like succer

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4 replies
o2bncapecod June 15 2014 at 12:47 AM

Umm....who cares?

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BANDIT BILL June 14 2014 at 11:58 PM

Who's cares about this crap!

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1 reply
jechandle BANDIT BILL June 15 2014 at 2:29 PM

Perhaps the billion or so people that will be watching at least some part of the tournament care.
Sports and the arts are a way to celebrate life. We can't have too much of that.
What do you care about besides yourself?
Who cares about you,
especially if you can't play soccer?

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fabiolenoir June 15 2014 at 2:45 AM

It suks that the US does not provide more information or cover the soccer games in Brazil...After all is more popular all around the world (except US) and Soccer existed way long, long, long time before the boaring US footbal or ice hocky.

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1 reply
jechandle fabiolenoir June 15 2014 at 2:38 PM

Nearly every match can be watched on ESPN3. How much coverage do you need. I hope you're not talking about more air time for talking heads spewing lots of cliches. Just show the games.
Oh, and the original game of football from which Association Football (soccer) evolved was more like Australian rules football than any other current sport.
The first football association in Britain standardized the rules in the mid 19th century to cut down on the number of deaths outlawing things like batting the ball with the hands, and dragging down your opponent.
Oh, and just an observation. Any sport can be boring depending on one's perspective.
Case in point, when I watch baseball, I see a lot more going on than many others do because I understand the game. No wonder they think it's boring if all they make note of is home runs, or a goal in soccer.
In any case, I can go the rest of the day without hearing what Alexi Lalas things about it, and be just fine.

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1 reply
jechandle jechandle June 15 2014 at 2:41 PM

. . . or Taylor Twellman. These knuckleheads are supposed to be expert analyst, and they don't even know the rules.
It's like in the Wizard of Oz,
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

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sopranosly June 14 2014 at 10:27 PM

Now I know why the USA is a world power all the other country think boys in shorts running around is a real sport it looks like what gay football would look like ( two hand below the waste you score or you get a date ) Won't kick ball be better to watch.

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1 reply
jechandle sopranosly June 15 2014 at 2:52 PM

Spoken like a true lamester that is trying to convince themself that they have some talent.
They wear shorts because it's against the law most places to play naked like the first Olympians.
I'd be more likely to say american football is not a sport because one can't play it without 20+ pounds of special equipment.
And guess what? There are more youth soccer players in the US than their are participants in any other sport.
The U.S.Open Cup in soccer is the oldest continuously awarded team sports trophy in the United States.

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plzr56 June 14 2014 at 7:23 PM

I still don't get all the hype when it comes to soccer. I guess it's exciting for the people who grew up with that type of sport, just like the u S with its baseball.

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2 replies
David S. plzr56 June 14 2014 at 8:26 PM

Yeah, but plenty of American parents would sell their soul to the devil to get their kids a spot on the soccer team in high school and even elementary school. Hilarious.

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2 replies
oh_come_on David S. June 14 2014 at 11:02 PM

Yea no way

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BANDIT BILL David S. June 15 2014 at 12:04 AM

Yeah soccer moms, funny I never heard the phrase soccer dad!

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hynotman plzr56 June 14 2014 at 9:19 PM

Except you will NEVER see an overweight soccer player!

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1 reply
jechandle hynotman June 15 2014 at 3:20 PM

Even soccer parents as a group are more fit than baseball/softball parents.

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usci1 June 14 2014 at 7:14 PM

Why is SKILL described as "trickery"? The Greeks were "tricked" into losing? Awwwwwwwww, poor babies.
Put some ouzo in their bottles and let them nap.

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Mike June 15 2014 at 9:17 AM

We knew it would be difficult for the Greeks to leave their brothers' behind.

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4 replies
hglauser June 15 2014 at 12:30 AM

Does any American with brains watch Baseball? Come on folks, don't act more stupid!

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1 reply
mike & nancy hglauser June 15 2014 at 10:31 AM

baseball is to costly for the average family, 2 hr games are now 4 hrs

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1 reply
jechandle mike & nancy June 15 2014 at 3:21 PM

Baseball games take about 2 hrs. and 15-30 mins. unless they go into extra innings.

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rafo2005 June 15 2014 at 1:37 AM

i believe this tournament the World Cup Soccer 2014 is follow in every country of this planet.

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1 reply
jechandle rafo2005 June 15 2014 at 3:22 PM

True. FIFA is the only organization in which virtually every country in the world is a member.

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