In their first World Cup appearance in 16 years, Colombia continues to march toward the knockout round.
On Thurday at Estádio Nacional de Brasilia, Colombia used second-half goals from James Rodríguez and Juan Quintero to hold off Ivory Coast, 2-1, and move to the top of Group C with a perfect 2-0 record.
Ivory Coast, which got an electrifying goal from Gervinho, drops to 1-1 in the group after opening the tournament with a come-from-behind win over Japan.
MAN OF MANY TALENTS: After having a hand in all three of Colombia’s goals in their opening win over Greece, James Rodríguez had another huge day for Los Cafeteros, heading home a 64th-minute corner kick from Juan Cuadrado and setting off another epic dance party on the Colombia bench (led admirably by ageless former Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon). James also created the turnover that led to Colombia’s second goal?
SUPER SUB: No, we’re not talking about Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba coming into the match in the 60th minute. We’re talking about Colombia’s 21-year-old Juan Quintero coming on seven minutes earlier – and then following that up with his first international goal after Rodríguez made the turnover-inducing tackle and then Teófilo Gutiérrez made a clean pass on the counter. That goal gave Colombia a 2-0 lead in the 70th minute and would prove critical by the end.
Juan Quintero scores off the bench for Colombia. There's been 12 goals for subs so far at this #WorldCup. There was 15 at the 2010 World Cup— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 19, 2014
GERVINHO MAGIC: In the 73rd minute, Ivory Coast sliced into Colombia’s lead with a little bit of magic from Gervinho, who split a couple of defenders and danced around another one before blasting a shot past goalkeeper David Ospina to the near post. In a tournament filled with incredible goals, that one may have been one of the best ones yet – and still it was not enough for Les Éléphants
TEO’S BIG FLUB: We’ve seen a lot of big goals throughout this World Cup but Thursday may have provided us with the biggest miss of the tournament. After a tremendous buildup that featured a marvelous ball from Juan Cuadrado on the counter and perfect cross from Rodríguez, Gutiérrez had a clear shot on net from right in front of goal – which he completely flubbed.
DID I JUST SHRINK? Midway through the first half, this happened. Don't worry, James handled it.
"Is this regulation size? pic.twitter.com/BBwDDaKJgr— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) June 19, 2014
MAN OF THE MATCH: James Rodriguez, Colombia. For the second straight game, James made up for the absence of injured star Radamel Falcao with a dynamic performance. He’s now had a hand in all five of Colombia’s goals this tournament and has scored in four straight international matches.