Colombia 2-1 Ivory Coast
Colombia would have been buoyed with the decision to keep Didier Drogba on the bench.
Despite the former Chelsea striker’s all-important presence in turning around The Elephants fortunes against Japan, Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi again decided that Drogba’s involvement would be as an impact player—coming off the bench.
Despite Ivory Coast having poor form against South American opposition, both sides knew a win would all but seal their place in the knock-out rounds.
James Rodriguez headed in a corner for his second goal of the World Cup and celebrated in true Latin American style. The nimble-footed Juan Quintero doubled Colombia’s lead, slotting home after Serey Die had been dispossessed.
Gervinho pulled one back to set up a frenetic finale but the Africans failed to find a leveller. Coupled with Greece and Japan’s draw, means the South Americans will make their first second round appearance since 1990.
Greece 0-0 Japan
Greece captain Konstantinos Katsouranis picked up two yellow cards in the space of 12 first-half minutes to reduce Ethniki to 10 men.
The Greeks then understandably resorted to their successful 2004 European Championships tactics of flooding their back line—a well-marshalled system which the Japanese could not break down.
The result did little favours to either side but both still have slender hopes of qualifying into the second round.
FINAL GROUP D FIXTURES (Tuesday 24th June—both games kick-off at 9pm GMT)
Greece vs Ivory Coast
Colombia vs Japan