Saturday, June 14, 2014

Columbia maul Greece 3-0 in 2014 Fifa World Cup

It was an extremely easy win for Columbia as they strolled past a pedestrian Greece that was without fight or zeal. Armero was on the score sheet early on after the inter-passing on the right hand side of the midfield. A long ball was lobbed between the left back and the central defenders. The right winger skinned his man, played the ball to the D-zone, one attacker selling a dummy to leave Armero with a first time shot to finish. The shot took a touch off a defender and trickled into the net past a desperately diving keeper.

The Greek midfield’s failure to steal the ball off on the centre-line, their failure to pick that run by the winger, the huge distance of supporting between the centre and left back, not shutting the cross, not dealing with that cross and lack of pressure on the ball recipient resulted in the shot at goal. That ball could have been blocked by the nearest defender who only managed to take off the sting off the strike.

Columbia probed through the middle with quick one-twos and wall passes. They utilised the spaces the Greeks left in their midfield and defence. The Europeans’ wingers got into positions early but never received the passes as the Greeks were extremely slow in launching any attack. While the tenacity and the double-marking of the Columbians seemed to mesmerise the Greeks, they had their own chanced they fluffed. They spurned a few free-kicks in the final third without much threatening much.

Columbia were content with the single goal, staying behind in counter attacks as they feared the countering the counter-attack of the Greeks. They only let three players engage the Greek defence while they stayed put in anticipation of the counter that never came. The Greeks squandered possession easily due to their slow tempo. They exposed their defence when they tried a 1-4-1-4-1 as Columbia drove through the centre and threatened more in the second half.

After winning the corner-kick, the ball beat the first man and was touched to Gutierez who stabbed home with a first-time shot. Failure to give the assistor and scorer enough attention proved fatal. There were opportunities for the Greeks even at this point, but they seemed content with a loss though.

In the dying minutes of that dreadful 90 minutes by the Greeks, a free-kick was conceded on the right channel of the midfield. The direct run into the box was all the South Americans needed as they exchanged a pass or two, with an attempted back-heel leaving the ball roll to Rodriguez to fire a low shot to the far post.

As all previous matches, there were basic errors leading to the goals. Many of these were avoidable and fortunately, even more errors were not punished by the opposition. The trends have been similar so far and each match produced excitement and goals. The Mexico vs Cameroon affair was dealt a blow by the relentless downpour but still produced a few exciting moments.