World Cup 2014 – Group C Match Report: Greece 2 – Cote d’Ivoire 1

26 Jun

Oh Drogba, that was my reaction to this match as well.

Greece: Samaris 42’, Samaras 90+3’

Cote d’Ivoire: Bony 74’

Lineups:

Greece: Karnezis, Papastathopoulos, Manolas, Holebas, Torosidis, Maniatis, Kone, Christodoulopoulos, Karagounis, Samaras, Salpingidis.

Cote d’Ivoire: Barry, Bamba, Boka, Kolo Toure, Aurier, Tiote, Yaya Toure, Serey, Drogba, Kalou, Gervinho.

If you had asked me who would win this match, I would have decisively said “Cote d’Ivoire.” I’ve become quite fond of Le Elephants this tournament, and frankly, they’ve looked so much better than Greece. But as Greece has shown before, you can never count them out.

Anyways, this was the first time that Greece and Cote d’Ivoire have ever played each other. Both teams were down a player due to suspension. For Greece, it was Captain Konstantinos Katsouranise, while Cote d’Ivoire were missing defender Didier Zokora. Drogba got his first start of the tournament, as did Kolo Toure, who replaced Zokora.

Both teams entered this match knowing that Colombia was through to the Round of 16. If Cote d’Ivoire won, they would be guaranteed to move forward. Greece could only move on if they won and Japan lost.

The match starts as expected: Greece defending, Cote d’Ivoire attacking. Gervinho once again seems perplexed by the sight of the ball. He blunders around a bit, leaving the ball behind.

Greece is dealt a blow when Kone goes down in the 11th minute with what looks like a hamstring injury. He is replaced by Samaris (not to be confused with Samaras).

Samaris

Samaras

See. They are different people.

Play continues for a few minutes with more attacking by Cote d’Ivoire and defending by Greece, until keeper Karnezis calls for treatment for his back. Eighteen minutes in and Greece is literally falling apart. After a few minute, there is good news. He’s ok to keep playing. For two minutes. He is taken off and replaced by Glykos. Greece has already used two substitutions in the first twenty-three minutes.

Nothing happens for a while and then Greece has a couple of chances on goal, but Barry is able to make the saves, if somewhat shakily. Gervinho seems to now recognize the ball and runs it back up the pitch to Kalou. Cote d’Ivoire makes a few attempts on goal until Samaris gets the ball away from Tiote. Samaris passes to Samaras, who then passed back to Samaris, who scores. That was confusing, no?

It was short hair Samaris:

Better now?

Anyways, Cote d’Ivoire makes one more serious attempt on goal before stoppage time. Nothing happens during stoppage time.

The second half continues the theme of Greece defending, Cote d’Ivoire attacking (yet Greece is the one who scored, go figure). Cote d’Ivoire look more energetic, but are being held back by the strength of Greece’s defending. They look frustrated. Until Gervinho gets the ball at the edge of the box and passes the ball to Bony who slides it into goal. If this result holds, Cote d’Ivoire advances. At this point, Colombia is winning against Japan.

The rest of the half continues with both sides taking shots on goal without connecting. Then in added time, Cote d’Ivoire’s Sio seemlingly clips Samaras in the box. Greece is awarded the penalty. On second glance, Samaras may have actually kicked the turf attempting to sweep the ball. Greece may gotten lucky. Samaras takes the penalty himself. This grainy video will show you that Barry didn’t have a chance.

And that folks, is how Greece advanced to the Round of 16.

Serge Die was once again emotional.

I like a man who is not afraid to show how he feels.

Greece will face Costa Rica on Sunday, June 29th at 4pm EDT. I would say they have their work cut out for them, but remember: NEVER COUNT GREECE OUT. They could be clumsy in the box and next thing you know, they win.

group-c-final-standings

Immediately following the match, Cote d’Ivoire manager Sabri Lamouchi announced he would be stepping down.

This will be my last post for the next week or so, while I do some travel for work/fun. I’ll be watching for sure and may send some thought to Lozil, but won’t have the time/means to write lengthy posts. As usual, I leave you with some pics of supporters. They make the footy world go round.

Greek fan or Smurf? Both?

Oh dear.

– Dr. P

One Response to “World Cup 2014 – Group C Match Report: Greece 2 – Cote d’Ivoire 1”

  1. Natalie June 26, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    Than penalty at last min, both heartbreak for Ivory coast and such stress for Greece.

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