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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

World Cup Round Up: Last Gap Penalty Condemns Ivory Coast, Italy Out, Japan Out

It's all over for the Elephants
The Luis Suarez biting incident aside, it was yet another round of dramatic night of football which ended in four more teams booking their tickets to the knockout stages.

Uruguay seize their chance and beat 10-man Italy 1-0 to take the remaining slot in Group B. Diego Godin’s bullet header in the 80th minute gave the South Americans the win they needed to advance ahead of the Italians in a match that was marred by controversy after Luis Suarez appeared to bite Giorgio Chiellini.

Already-qualified Costa Rica finished unbeaten in their group after drawing with England 0-0 and will meet Colombia in the round of 16.

Colombia ensured they finished their group with maximum points after overpowering Japan 4-1. Hotshot Jackson Martinez netted a double with James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado also finding the back of the net for the impressive Jose Pekerman side. Shinji Okazaki scored the only goal for the Asians at the end of first half. 

The night however belonged to veteran Colombia keeper Faryd Camilo Mondragon who in entering the fray in the 85th minute became the oldest player to play at a World Cup. At 43 years and 3 days old, Mondragon who replaced David Ospina in Colombia’s goal broke the record held by Cameroonian Roger Milla who was 42 years, 39 days when he bowed out of the 1990 World Cup. 

Mondragon first featured for Los Cafeteros in 1993 making his debut against Venezuela and has 53 international caps under his belt and over 620 club games.

While Colombia and Mondragon were making history, The Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire were left heads buried on their hands after a last gap goal by Georgios Samaras gave Greece a 2-1 win that bundled the Africans out of the competition.

A draw would have been enough for the Africans to advance and it looked like they would when Wilfried Bony netted in the 74th minute to equalize Andreas Samaris’ opener for the Greek. However, a last minute penalty converted by the Samaras sealed Cote d’Ivoire’s fate even though there was little contact on the Celtic man from Giovanni Sio. 

Greece would care less though as they progressed behind Colombia and set a date with Uruguay in the knockout stage. 

And That's thesteifmastertake!!