Goals from James Rodriguez and Juan Quintero gave Colombia a hard-fought 2-1 win over Ivory Coast.

Goals from James Rodriguez and Juan Quintero gave Colombia a hard-fought 2-1 win over Ivory Coast.

Seven Serie A representatives were on show in Brasilia this afternoon, as the South American’s named six from Italy’s top division, including Juan Cuadrado and Victor Ibarbo, whilst the African nation called upon Roma’s Gervinho.

But it was Jose Pekerman’s men who made the brighter start, with Teofilo Gutierrez having the first attempt on goal inside the opening six minutes. A pass from Cuadrado found the River Plate man, but his effort was shanked wide of the post.

The Elephants were their usual powerful selves, looking to make the most of their physical dominance from set pieces. But their sluggishness at the back was costing them, and they looked vulnerable with Colombia’s lightning quick breaks.

On more than one occasion, the Cafeteros were dangerous down both flanks, but goalkeeper Boubacar Barry wasn’t tested thanks to some last-ditch blocks by Didier Zokora and Arthur Boka.

And the shot-stopper wasn’t called into action again on 30 minutes, but he certainly should have been. A cross from Pablo Armero found Gutierrez, but the striker, all on his own in the area, hit a shot wide.

After the break, it was Sabri Lamouchi’s men who came out of the blocks quickest and almost broke the deadlock on 52 minutes. Yaya Toure though, fired his free kick wide of the left-hand post when he should have hit the target.

It was Wilfried Bony though, who should have scored the opening goal. A beautiful cross from Yaya Toure found the Swansea man, but instead of heading it, the striker opted for an acrobatic volley and failed to connect.

That was a sensational chance, but Cuadrado had an even better one on the hour mark. From the right-hand side of the area the winger went past Serge Aurier and crashed an effort off the bar and out.

Just minutes later however, Colombia were in front. Cuadrado’s corner found Rodriguez, who rose highest and headed in past the goalkeeper.

And with 20 minutes to go, it was two. Serey Die gave the ball away inside his own half, and the midfielder was quickly punished, as Rodriguez laid the ball into Quintero, who coolly finished under Barry.

The African side weren’t to be outdone though, and got a goal back themselves on 74 minutes. Gervinho, picking the ball up on the left, skipped past three defenders, got into the area, a neatly stroked the ball into the top left-hand corner of the net.

It wasn’t enough however, as Colombia held out for the win to maintain their winning start.

Colombia 2-1 Ivory Coast

Scorers: Rodriguez 64 (C), Quintero 70 (C); Gervinho 74 (IC)

Colombia: Ospina, Zapata, Yepes (c), Armero (Arias 72), Zuniga, Sanchez, Aguilar (Mejia 79), Gutierrez, Rodriguez, Cuadrado, Ibarbo (Quintero 53)

Ivory Coast: Barry, Boka, Zokora, Tiote, Gervinho, Bony (Drogba 60), Gradel (Kalou 68), Aurier, Y Toure (c), Serey (Bolly 73), Bamba

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