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Tranmere Rovers & Cheltenham Town Stare Into The Abyss
This Group C encounter pits the two winners in a head-to-head for the top spot. Columbia breezed past Greece in their opening game while the Ivory Coast narrowly edged Japan.
Both of these teams will be looking to gain an advantage going into their final group games as an encounter with the Group F victors is ahead in the Round of 16 match – and I doubt either of these team would fancy Italy in the knock-out stages (who we all expect to finish top).
Didier Drogba is likely to once again start on the bench with Sabri Lamouchi, the Ivory Coast coach, looking at an attacking trio of Salomon Kalou, Gervinho and Wilfried Bony again. They proved a significantly formidable team in their opening match with Japan and certainly haven’t hurt their own chances of getting the nod again. However, Drogba may feel his final half hour impacted the team more and he isn’t 100% fit.
Thursday’s 5pm kick-off at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia will be the first ever game between Colombia and Ivory Coast – and Jose Pekerman’s troops will be in high spirits following their 3-0 demolition of Greece in their opening game. Colombia striker Carlos Bacca, who started on the bench against the Greeks, has a leg injury and will be out for the rest of the World Cup group stages, with Falcao also missing out, the South Americans are a little bit make-shift now.
Would love to tell you what Danny Murphy is saying right now but BBC Iplayer (watch what you want when you want) has closed its channel at…er…6.57.
Bar a quiet second quarter, the match of the tournament to date. Had Gervinho scored five minutes earlier and galvanised CIV from then, it would have been a draw. Someone would SURELY have got on the end of an Aurier cross. But Colombia were the better side until Gervinho’s goal. And what did I tell you about the boy Quintero?? As Mark Lawrenson would (will?) surely say, “Juan to watch.” Oh look, someone’s got my coat for me. In fact, lots of people have got coats for me. And I didn’t even bring a coat.
Anyway, Greece and Japan have to win to stay in the tournament, which should make their encounter tonight as good as a Greece/Japan encounter can be. And I really don’t know how good that will be.
Oh…and England to win. Quite comfortably. See you at 11.
Colombia win and the loudest cheer of the tournament splits my ears, thousands of miles away.
Quintero nearly scores from half a mile out. Webb is slow to stop play for the injured Cuadrado, especially as he played advantage from the foul. Four minutes stoppage. Should be more and probably will be as Webb has a load of mini-disputes to watch.
Yepes has “looked 38″ at times. But he’s looked a 100-cap defender most of the time. And if he goes off now, Colombia are down to 10, 5 of whom are programmed to attack. The fun is not over.
CIV are knocking on the door now. Some great play but that final ball continues to elude them.
Drogba’s pouting and waving of arms at goalkicks has inspired CIV to play like they can. A great last few minutes coming up.
Wilson thinks CIV beat Japan with two “late” goals. Well, it was after midnight…
Gervinho finally justifies his Brazilian style nickname, by receiving the ball on the left, beating three players, staying on his feet in the box, and firing past Ospina who gets a hand to it, but is still beaten on his near post.
Wonderstuff from Gervinho. Just like Arsenal fans remember. “What a groal,” says Wilson, momentarily thinking the ball had hit the side-netting. Or was that just me?
Maybe I said that two seconds too quickly. Gervinho scores to make it two-one.
Quality run and finish.
Looks like Columbia will shut up shop down.
And now its 2-0. Serey Die gets caught in possession from a Cote D’Ivoire corner, by James Rodriguez, he races away and times his through ball to Quintero to perfection. Quintero is one on one with the keeper, and doubles the lead. Not the two goal burst the Cote D’Ivoire expected after Drogba came on.
“Remember the name Juan Quintero…” Two-nil. Drogba’s changed EVERYTHING.
Slo-mo shows that Drogba dives to win a free-kick. Can’t believe Howard Webb of all people was fooled. As the commentators said of his mistake: “……..” But “he was in a great position at the free-kick.”
This game has suddenly opened up. Ivory Coast are making an impression on the game.
Told you. Little Himmy Rodriguez heads home Cuadrado’s corner. Bamba’s fault, of course. But that’s Drogab marking Rodriguez. He’s had an effect this time…
And as Mark says that James Rodriguez heads in from a corner. Boubacar Barry gets a hand to it but can’t stop it.
Cuadrado hits the post. But the game is lost for Colombia because Drogba’s on for Bony.
Meanwhile, Yaya Toure hits a “fantastic” ball…a yard over and a yard behind Bony, who can’t stop it going out for a goalkick. Graedel mucks up CIV’s next chance, possibly because he heard Wilson’s Boka/Boca Juniors gag…make that “”””””gag””””””. This game’s getting good.
Zakora misses the Greece game for his booking, which is why he was laughing as he retreated. Frustration may have been “written all over his face” according to Wilson, but if it was, it was spelt wrong.
Juan Quintero on for the injured Victor Ibarbo. He’s good. Which is why Hames (Himmy) has let him have the number ten role.
Lawrenson’s reading this blog!!! Or we’re thinking alike. Please shoot me now if its the latter. On the pitch its end-to-end and “nearly” at both ends. No-one satisfied with a draw…yet.
More empty seats just after half-time than the Emirates, Wembley and Lords combined. Meanwhile, the Beeb caption department steadfastly ignoring the FIFA directive to call Cote D’Ivoire…er…Cote D’Ivoire.
Just to be clear my friend found Murphy a bit “uncommunicative” (curiously) rather than not a supporter of the cause. Anyway, we’re back with Lawrenson again. Yippee…
If I could ‘like’ a post it would have just happened.
A friend of mine was very UNimpressed with Danny Murphy at a “kick racism out of football” event at Spurs a while back. BUT I’ve been a fan of Murphy the pundit since his early days on MOTD2 in the Chiles era. Chiles was purring about a terrific individual goal from midfield and asked Murphy – not a noted dribbler and goalscorer – if he’d ever tried such a thing. “I might in an easy game,” said Murphy, “like West Brom at home.” Chiles, momentarily, was furious. Ha-ha.
Much of this tournament’s attacking fun has derived from the sort of rotten defending which besmirched the EPL this year. Here the defending has been good, so it has been “interesting, rather than edge of the seat stuff” as Wilson rightly said.
If only he was using the Twitter World Cup feature….
I’m still waiting for Lawrenson’s first Wayne’s World reference of the match – Not!
Not sure why he started doing it, because he didn’t do it when the film came out. He only started doing it around 2008
Could have got the teams from the BBC website an hour ago. I did.
Lawrenson will use the lateness of the team sheets as the reason why he’s co-commentary has been so uninformative.
“Don’t know whether Zakora’s got a Nokia,” Wilson appears to say. On the BBC too. Tsk.
Lawrenson whispers his first reference to Yaya Toure and birthday cakes…as if he KNOWS how **** it would sound at full volume. Contrast what we’ve learned from Lawrenson today with what Murphy told us during Spain/Chile last night. The contrast is plain embarrassing.
Its been a strong attacking match but generally the keepers haven’t had much to worry about.
It was a full Rosenthal.
Aurier’s left-foot shot is CIV’s first effort in anger but its a better game than that and Colombia’s few efforts suggest.
He properly Mungoed it.
Cuadrado to Rodriguez to Gutierrez for the 94th time. Gutierrez makes a Rodriguez of the finish but he’s a yard offside…no…wait…Mr Mullarkey thinks not. Oooops x 2
That’s my Cuadrado submission
I think the world cup should be awarded to whichever team takes a corner from inside the quadrant
Chek Tiote fires over from distance. “He can hit them,” says Wilson, recalling THAT goal in the 4-4 with Arsenal. Anyone remember any other Tiote goals from 30 yards? Actually a genuine question but you were ALL picturing THAT goal when Wilson spoke, weren’t you?
Woooh. Mike Mullarkey done by the old “he’s taken it” corner routine. Zuniga tapped the ball forward and ran away from the quadrant. Hames came over to take the ball into the box. Mr Webb, he say “no.” Too quick for these dodgy officials.
Cuadrado good at drawing fouls. And if anyone in the 200% arts department wants to treat that as a challenge, feel free.
I have always thought the Ivory Coast’s kit would look better with integral trunk.
The South American front line is blisteringly quick.
Cuadrado has been outstanding for Fiorentina this season. His pace and vision really give him that extra zap that Columbia will need in the knockout stages (if they make it – which they should).
Wilson and Lawrenson missing no opportunity to say “Hames.” We get it, guys, its NOT James. Colombia looking smooth though, as if they truly benefitted from that practice match against Greece at the weekend.
Outrageous Zuniga flick too. But, as Wilson notes, “shame he ran out of pitch.”
And an outrageous Hames flick in Colombia’s last sweeping move. Angel Di Maris tried a couple of them for Argentina on Sunday and…made a “hames” of it each time. (I promised you duff wordplay and I’m a man of my word).
Max Graedel tries to take a corner from the edge of the area. Good job Howard Webb is the referee…
Guttierez left-foot scuffer wide from Cuadrado set-up and Hames long-ball. “The ability to turn defence into attack in a split second” if Colombia do it. Looked “Route One” to me.
Lovely ball skills from Colombia supremo Jose Pekerman in the technical area. If you are ever feeling down, try to imagine Roy Hodgson doing the same.
On the subject of officials – Mark Geiger has had two fantastic games so far.
Steve Wilson reckons its great to see the English officials at last – presumably he’s the only once who has forgotten their performance in their last World Cup game.
Oh good, Mark is back to guide us through the action…. why didn’t people pay more attention to the wonderful Danny Murphy?
Hooray! Alan Hansen’s back…
Colombia and Cote D’Ivoire (CIV) won their opening games in contrasting manners. The Colombians beat Greece as 3-0 as you like, although ITV pundit Clark Carlisle noted that they used “Ecuador’s” Jackson Martinez as a substitute.
CIV, meanwhile, came from a goal down to beat Japan 2-1. Both their goals came within a few minutes of the introduction from the bench of Didier Drogba. But neither goal had anything WHATSOEVER to do with the former Chelsea diver. Despite dollops of b******t punditry suggesting that CIV “upped their game simply because of Drogba’s presence,” the truth is that rather than heading Serge Aurier crosses like an ordinary member of the public might, Wilfried Bony and Gervinho found the target like a multi-millionaire international striker might…and should.
Colombia are unchanged, which will gave James Rodriguez a chance to shine…or make a hames of things (he wears “Hames” on the back of his shirt, and “hames” means mess, in the English I’ve heard spoken by Irish people – mostly relatives – down the years).
More laboured, not-that-funny wordplay as the evening regresses.
Welcome Football Fans!
Today marks a tie between the two teams vying for top spot in Group C. Both teams have an abundance of attacking talent but suffer from their own defensive frailties. It should be a fantastic contest.