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BRAZIL 2014 DAY 8


Colombia 2 Ivory Coast 1

An exciting game was anticipated in Brasilia and both nations duly delivered, Colombia with the best chance of the first half as James Rodriguez crossed to an unmarked Teofilo Gutierrez who fluffed his left footed shot wide. Jose Pekerman wasted no time altering his side after the break with Juan Quintero on for Ibarbo, Bony with a good chance for Ivory Coast but unable to fashion a shot at goal.

On the hour mark Cuadrado fired at goal with Barry palming the ball off the woodwork, Didier Drogba finally coming on for Bony. Unlike the resulting goals against Japan following Drogba's introduction, it was Colombia who took the lead. Cuadrado's corner was met by James Rodriguez, beating Drogba and Zokora to the ball, his header too powerful for Barry.

Ivory Coast couldn't manage to sustain pressure on Colombia, and before long it was 2-0. Serey Die the main culprit for the Africans, sloppy in possession as Gutierrez pounced and passed to an unmarked Juan Quintero with a calm finish past Barry. Ivory Coast wasted no time in hitting back, Gervinho apparently tired of relying on his teammates by taking matters into his own hands, beating three Colombian players on his way into the area, beating Ospina with a fine finish.

Colombia held on for their second consecutive victory in Brazil, playing effective attacking football with Rodriguez and Cuadrado the main protagonists. Pekerman has many options off the bench with Guarin yet to feature, Colombia looking good to top Group C and march into the last 16. Ivory Coast have quality across the pitch and now take on Greece with a very good chance to progress in second place.

Uruguay 2 England 1

Luis Suarez bagged two goals as Uruguay severely dented English World Cup aspirations in Sao Paulo. The South Americans were intent on pressing high during the early stages before Rooney's free kick missed the top corner, Christian Rodriguez with a fierce drive just over the bar. Rooney had another chance from Gerrard's free kick, his header from close range back off the woodwork.

Shortly before half-time Uruguay took the lead. Cavani picked up the ball with he and Suarez against six English players plus Joe Hart. England's numerical advantage proved futile however, Cavani picking out Suarez who produced an excellent header past the despairing Hart. Sturridge saw his shot saved by Muslera as half time beckoned, England's campaign hanging by a thread.

A positive reaction from England was not forthcoming, Uruguay setting up camp in the England half with multiple chances created, the best from Cavani who couldn't quite  curl it around Hart. Rooney had another chance to break his World Cup drought, straight at Muslera from close range. England appeared unbalanced and Hodgson reacted by replacing Sterling with Barkley, Lallana on for Wellbeck shortly after. 

Sturridge made space for himself but his tame shot failed to trouble Muslera, but the English pressure eventually paid off with their equaliser. Glen Johnson began the move in his own half, received the ball back on the right wing and cut inside Godin with his cross for Rooney resulting in an easy tap in to end his World Cup drought.

The goal brought the English supporters into the game and England were now on the front foot. The game was very open as both nations went in search of the decisive goal, Sturridge with another good effort saved by Muslera. Five minutes before the final whistle and it was Uruguay with the decisive goal. Muslera's goal kick was headed towards the England goal by Gerrard, Suarez anticipating and picking up the ball behind the England defence, advancing towards goal before smashing it past Hart.

A fantastic result for Uruguay who turned around their 3-1 loss to Costa Rica. Luis Suarez recovered from injury to play the starring role once again, any familiarity the English players had with Suarez counting for nought. They now face Italy in another crunch game in Brazil 2014, while England will watch Italy battle with Costa Rica in the hope they have something to play for against Costa Rica.

Japan 0 Greece 0

An uninspiring stalemate between two sides who will be fortunate to get out of Group C. The first half was most notable for Gekas replacing the injured Mitroglou and Greek captain Katsouranis sent off for a second yellow card.

Japan understandably dominated possession, however could not breach the Greek defence despite Kagawa getting his reprieve off the bench.