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Colombia, Ivory Coast collide Thursday
By: Zach Cohen - StatFox
Published: 6/19/2014  at  4:55:00 AM
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Kickoff: Thursday, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Estadio Nacional Ė Brasilia, Brazil

Colombia -142, Ivory Coast +325, Tie +240
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals

Colombia meets Ivory Coast Thursday afternoon in what will be a Group C match with major implications in terms of which teams will be advancing to the knockout round.

Colombia may not have played a flawless game against Greece in their opening match of Group C play, but they were able to finish when they needed to. They now turn their attention to an Ivory Coast team that also won their first game.

Colombia lost the time of possession battle to Greece as they held the ball for just 46% of the game, but it didnít matter. Colombia pounced on Greece early with a goal by Pablo Armero just five minutes into the game. From there, Greece was playing catch-up and they were never able to put one in the net. Colombia outshot Greece 8-7 on goal and despite their lack of possession, they were getting themselves plenty of quality looks. Teofilo Gutierrez put the game out of reach for Greece with a goal at the 58-minute mark and then James Rodriguez added one in extra time for good measure. This team showed plenty of offensive potency and is looking like the darkhorse candidate that many said they were prior to the tournament.

Ivory Coast didnít shut out their opponent in their opening Group C match, but they did get the job done with a 2-1 victory over Japan. The team showed plenty of heart as the first half of the game did not go their way.

Sixteen minutes into their first game of the World Cup, Ivory Coast found themselves down 1-0 after a left-footed shot from Keisuke Honda found the back of the net for Japan. Ivory Coast was all over Japan despite trailing for most of the game. They had possession for 57% of the match and outshot their opponents 10-4 on goal. Whether it was just a coincidence or not, Ivory Coast subbed in Didier Drogba at the 63-minute mark. With their leader on the field, the team was able to turn the game around. Sixty-four minutes into the game, Wilfried Bony tied the game up with a header and then two minutes later, Gervinho headed home another to give Ivory Coast a 2-1 lead. They would hold on for a win and can now really improve their chances of making it to the knockout round with a win over what is a heavily favored Colombia team.

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