Côte d’Ivoire fail to meet expectation,again
Posted under: 2014 FIFA World Cup, Côte d'Ivoire, Côte d'Ivoire News, Greece, Greece News, News
The Ivory Coast came into their last group game against Greece as favorites as a draw would still be enough to qualify them into the round of 16. But Greeks walked away with all three points with a 2-1 win over at the Estadio Castelao.
The game started of brightly for the Africans as they quickly found their tempo testing and stretching the Greek defence. Captain Didier Drogba started the game after coming on as a sub in the previous two games and it showed in the vigour Côte d’Ivoire played and attacked in.
Chances fell for forwards Gervinho and Salomon Kalou but they failed to convert them when they got into the final third. The Greeks nearly found the opener when Dimitris Salpingidis came close to pouncing on a cross but Ivorian keeper Boubacar Barry swiftly held on to it before it reached the Greek forward’s feet.
Greece were unlucky to have to make two forced substitutions when midfielder Panagiotis Kone had to come off early in the eighth minute due to an injury while their number one goalie couldn’t take a back pain and asked to be substituted in the 23rd. Defender José Cholebas came close to finding the opening goal in the 32nd minute when he beat the Ivorian keeper only for the ball to hit the crossbar.
The first goal came eight minutes later when substitute Andreas Samaris scored the opening heading into half-time. Yaya Touré quickly tried to get the equalizer when he charged into the Greek defence with one of his blistering attacks into the box only for his shot to be blocked be a defender’s shin.
The second stanza saw the Africans turn up their attacking tempo knowing that a draw would be enough to to get them through, with Colombia leading against Japan the Ivorians would still take the second spot.
Defensive midfielder Cheick Tioté was substituted for striker Wilfried Bony as Coach Sabri Lamouchi showed his desperation for an equalizer. That left a an opening in the midfield as the Greek threatened in attack with Captain Georgios Karagounis beat Barry a few yards outside the box only for the crossbar to again save the keeper.
Lamouchi’s risk paid off when Bony scored the equaliser in the 74th minute after Gervinho roped in a beautiful cross.
The game became tighter as both teams tried to get the winner. It seemed the Ivorians were certain of their place in the next round but all was shattered when Georgios Samaras suspiciously fell in the box for the referee to award the Europeans with a penalty which Samaras converted to send Greece into the next round.
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