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Colombia Reaches Knockout Round After Win Over Ivory Coast

  • Mike Richman

Colombia's Juan Quintero (20) scores his side's second goal during the group C World Cup soccer match between Colombia and Ivory Coast at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, June 19, 2014.

Colombia's Juan Quintero (20) scores his side's second goal during the group C World Cup soccer match between Colombia and Ivory Coast at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, June 19, 2014.

Colombia earned a 2-1 win over Ivory Coast in Thursday's first match of the World Cup and, by day's end, found itself with a spot in the round of 16, also known as the knockout round.

The win in Brasilia lifted Colombia into the lead in Group C with six points, followed by Ivory Coast with three.

In the last match of the day, Greece and Japan each earned a point in Group C after battling to a scoreless draw that boosted Colombia into the round of 16.

Colombia's James Rodriguez and Juan Quintero scored in a six-minute span of the second half, before Ivorian striker Gervinho answered in the 73rd minute to set up a tense finish.

In a Group D match in Sao Paulo, Uruguay kept its round of 16 hopes alive with a 2-1 win over England.

England had eight shots on goal to Uruguay's six and controlled the ball for more than 60 percent of the game but failed to stop dangerous striker Luis Suarez, who scored two goals.

Suarez Torments England

Suarez missed Uruguay's opening loss to Costa Rica while recovering from knee surgery, but he made an instant impact on his return. His header in the 39th minute gave Uruguay a 1-0 lead, and his shot into the roof of the goal in the 85th minute snapped a 1-1 tie for the game winner.

His second goal came after England's Wayne Rooney provided the equalizer in the 75th minute.

Suarez, a star for Liverpool in the English Premier League, beat an England side that included five of his Liverpool teammates. He was elated after the win.

"Yes, I dreamed of this," he said. "It was something I imagined many times but had to calm myself down."

The defeat left England, beaten by Italy in its opening match, on the brink of elimination. The last time England failed to reach the second round of the World Cup was in 1958. Its final group game will be on June 24 against Costa Rica.

"I thought we controlled Suarez well in general play," England manager Roy Hodgson said. "He did very well to get away to the back post for the first goal but frankly for long periods of the game we kept him quiet. The second goal was an unfortunate flick off Steven Gerrard's head, and when [Suarez] gets free with the goalkeeper, he doesn't miss.''

In Natal, Greece held on for a draw after it was reduced to 10 men in the 38th minute when captain Costas Katsouranis was sent off with a red card.

Once Katsouranis was sent off after a rough challenge on Japan's Makoto Hasebe, Greece withdrew into a defensive setup. Greece surrendered three goals in a loss to Colombia, but even short-handed looked better organized against Japan and avoided making any critical mistakes.
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