Samaras takes Greece into last-16, all-win record for Colombia
Greece pulled off a sensational 2-1 win over Ivory Coast and reach the second round, while Colombia maintained its unbeaten record and spanked Japan 4-1
Fortaleza (Brazil): Greece rode on Georgios Samaras’ injury-time penalty to pull off a sensational 2-1 win over Ivory Coast and reach the second round of the World Cup for the first time, while Colombia maintained its unbeaten record and spanked Japan 4-1 to drew curtains on Asia’s challenge in the event.
Greece were awarded a late penalty after Samaras was adjudged to have been tripped in the area by substitute Giovanni Sio, and the lanky striker calmly slotted in the spot kick in the 91st minute to take his side into knockout stage.
It was heart break for Ivory Coast as a draw would have been enough for them to advance to the next stage. Greece, who were at the bottom of Group C before the game began, finished second in the group behind Colombia.
In other matches of the day, Uruguay advanced to the round of 16 from Group D after knocking Italy out of the competition with a 1-0 victory in Natal, while Costa Rica topped Group D after a goalless draw against England in Belo Horizonte.
But the game between Uruguay and Italy in Natal was marred by controversies and none other than striker Luis Suarez took the center stage.
Suarez was at the center of yet another biting controversy after appearing to sink his teeth into Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder moments before Diego Godin’s scored the winner for Uruguay with a header.
For the third time in his career, Suarez is facing potential punishment for appearing to bite a rival player after FIFA has ordered an inquiry into the yesterday’s incident.
Meanwhile, fully aware that only a win can keep their hopes alive Greece started brightly and took the lead just before half-time through young Andreas Samaris who pounced on a defensive error to slot the ball home.
But Wilfried Bony equalised for Ivory Coast in the 74th minute from close range and it looked like the goal would put the Africans through until the late drama.