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Colombia beats Ivory Coast 2-1 in World Cup

AP Sports Writer

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- Colombia scored twice in six minutes in a lively second half to beat Ivory Coast 2-1 at the World Cup on Thursday and move to the brink of the knockout stage.

James Rodriguez's powerful header from a corner in the 64th minute was quickly followed by a low finish by substitute Juan Quintero, securing the South American team's second straight win in Group C in front of a partisan pro-Colombian crowd.

Gervinho reduced the deficit in the 73rd with a superb run and shot inside the near post, but the Ivory Coast could not find an equalizer despite a strong finish.

A point against Japan in its third game will definitely seal qualification for Colombia but it could be secured before that, depending on the result of Japan vs. Greece later Thursday.

Ivory Coast still may need to beat Greece if it is to progress from the group stage for the first time at a World Cup.

There was a sea of yellow shirts throughout the Estadio Nacional as Colombia fans arrived en masse to the Brazilian capital, giving it the feel like of an intimidating away game for the Ivorians. The crowd roared with relief at the final whistle, with their team in touching distance of the second round of the World Cup for only the second time.

All this without star striker Radamel Falcao, who is missing the tournament through injury.

However, at halftime, the noise coming from the stands was not so fierce, with Ivory Coast holding relatively firm - except for a golden chance spurned by Teofilo Gutierrez in the 28th.

Rodriguez's left-wing cross fell perfectly for Gutierrez just outside the six-yard box, but he miscued his volley and it skewed wide.

With Yaya Toure seemingly anonymous and Didier Drogba again starting on the bench, Ivory Coast threatened only through long-range shots in a first half marked by a comic moment when a large inflatable ball bounced onto the playing surface, causing a brief stoppage.

Juan Cuadrado lit up a cagey opening to the second half by bringing down a long pass, shimmying past his marker and rifling a powerful shot that was tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Boubacar Barry. Inside a stadium named after 1960s World Cup star Mane Garrincha, it was a piece of right-wing trickery that even the Brazil great would have enjoyed.

Drogba entered on the hour, to a mixture of jeers and applause, but he was found wanting in the leadup to Rodriguez's goal four minutes later, the playmaker beating him to Cuadrado's corner and heading powerfully into the net for his second goal of the tournament.

The celebrations had hardly died down when Ivory Coast midfielder Serey Die was dispossessed inside his own half, allowing Gutierrez to create a chance for Quintero, who made no mistake with a side-foot finish.

In a frenetic last quarter of the match, Ivory Coast - driven by Drogba - finished strongly.

Gervinho's goal was one of the best pieces of individual skill so far at this World Cup, the Roma winger skipping between two defenders, cutting inside a third and beating David Ospina at his near post. But there was to be no equalizer.

Colombia atop Group C

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Your Excellency June 19 2014 at 3:53 PM

The link to this story said, "The Most Exciting Momemt of World Cup Yet." I had to laugh. It was like saying the most exciting part of painting was when the coat you put on finally dried so you could put on a second coat.

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2 replies
cjgmaj Your Excellency June 19 2014 at 4:22 PM

if you don't like soccer, then don't watch it. keep your comments to your self. I am not a fan of golf, perceive it as an old, out of shape person sport, I don't go on golf sites and cut it down. you should do the same and quit putting on a display of ignorance.

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3 replies
fifa_sucks2 Your Excellency June 19 2014 at 6:20 PM

So true. Succer is not a sport

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4 replies
onalaska June 19 2014 at 4:29 PM

Not a big soccer fan, but watched a little of this game over the lunch hour, and it was entertaining. Hope the USA plays a whole lot better in their game vs. Portugal.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
hduque8843 June 19 2014 at 5:20 PM

Is all about balls, round or elongated, but balls never the less. You don't like the game don't watch, go back and play with your boyfrien, buddy.

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1 reply
fifa_sucks2 hduque8843 June 19 2014 at 9:18 PM

Oh ouch

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barbgiano June 19 2014 at 9:10 PM

Ivory Coast played really dirty. Glad they lost.

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ickster01 June 19 2014 at 7:17 PM

Ya gotta love the headline with AOL/Huff Post calling it "cote de ivorie". What a bunch of liberal ********. It's a bunch of negroes in Africa., so we need to dress it up. And before the rest of you liberals get your panties in a bunch, start calling Germany "Deutschland" in normal conversation.....No? I thought not, ya stupid c****

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1 reply
luigi1947 ickster01 June 19 2014 at 7:22 PM

WOW, please go and take your medications

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fifa_sucks2 June 19 2014 at 6:56 PM

You have to get a SMALL BALL in a net the size of
A 747 with only one guy garding it.

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3 replies
jimmac01 June 19 2014 at 5:54 PM

Didn't the ancient Mayans toss the losers into the volcano? Now, that would be exciting.

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1 reply
Randy jimmac01 June 20 2014 at 8:58 AM

Might I suggest the tax PAYERS reintroduce the event by tossing the tax TAKERS into the same volcano?

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jimmac01 June 19 2014 at 4:48 PM

ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...........Now, the Olympics down there, that's another story....Is Turd Dodging an Olympic sport yet?

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1 reply
luigi1947 jimmac01 June 19 2014 at 5:45 PM

that would that be something even you could handle

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1 reply
jimmac01 luigi1947 June 19 2014 at 6:00 PM

How'd you know I was a plumber?

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Randy June 19 2014 at 4:04 PM

The most exciting soccer match yet is the breathless headline.... does that mean the grass the fans were watching in the stadium grew a quarter of an inch or a half an inch????? Or did the paint dry quicker than expected?

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Garfield Whittak June 20 2014 at 2:22 AM

fifa_sucks2, so true.....soccer is not a sport,....it's a way of life for BILLIONS of people around the world. Man U.S. capitalism must envy such global market pull, one NOT enjoyed BY ANY U.S. sport!

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