News / Americas

    World Cup: Greece Secures Maiden Trip to Second Round

    Uruguay's Diego Godin (3) scores his side's first goal during the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Tuesday, June 24, 2014.
    Uruguay's Diego Godin (3) scores his side's first goal during the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Tuesday, June 24, 2014.
    Mike Richman

    Greece assured itself a spot in the second round of the World Cup for the first time ever, beating Ivory Coast, 2-1, in dramatic style Tuesday.

    Greek striker Giorgios Samaras converted a penalty kick one minute into stoppage time, sending Greece to the round of 16, also known as the knockout round. 

    In the Group C match in Fortaleza, Brazil, the Ivorians were seconds away from entering the knockout round after Wilfried Bony's equalizer in the 74th minute would have provided the point they needed. But Ivory Coast's Giovanni Sio tripped Samara in the box, setting up Samara's kick that guaranteed Greece a meeting with Costa Rica on Sunday.

    Greece placed second in Group C with four points, one in front of Ivory Coast and three more than Japan. Colombia, which on Tuesday eliminated Japan, 4-1 in Cuiaba, finished first in Group C with nine points after winning all three of its group games. Striker Jackson Martinez led Colombia to victory Tuesday with two goals.

    Greek 'joy'

    Until Tuesday, Greece had not scored in this year's World Cup.

    "It means a lot for the team, and I hope we gave a lot of joy to the Greeks back home," said Samaras. "We are very happy and gave our answers on the pitch. I thought we controlled the game; they didn't have many chances."

    Story continues below photogallery:

    • A Chilean fan poses for the camera before the start of the match against Netherlands at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo, June 23, 2014.
    • Chile's Alexis Sanchez fights for the ball with Ron Vlaar of the Netherlands during their match at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo, June 23, 2014.
    • Leroy Fer of the Netherlands scores with a header against Chile at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo, June 23, 2014.
    • Arjen Robben of the Netherlands against the backdrop of a sea of Netherlands fans during the match against Chile at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo, June 23, 2014.
    • Brazil's Neymar, right, controls the ball in front of Cameroon's Allan Nyom during their match at the Brasilia National Stadium in Brasilia, June 23, 2014.
    • Brazil's Luiz Gustavo fights for the ball with Cameroon's Enoh Eyong during their match at the Brasilia National Stadium in Brasilia, June 23, 2014.
    • Brazil's Neymar scores past Cameroon's Nicolas Nkoulou during their match at the Brasilia National Stadium in Brasilia, June 23, 2014.
    • Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa saves in front of Croatia's Mario Mandzukic during their match at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife, June 23, 2014.
    • Mexico's coach Miguel Herrera celebrates after his team scores its third goal during their match against Croatia at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife, June 23, 2014.
    • Croatia's Ivan Perisic, right, scores past Mexico's Hector Moreno during their match at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife, June 23, 2014.


    Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi said after the game that his contract had expired and would not be renewed.

    "I'm deeply disappointed for the players," Lamouchi said. "They deserved much better than what happened tonight. It was very cruel."  

    Uruguay also advanced to the round of 16 Tuesday by eliminating four-time champion Italy, 1-0, in a game marred by controversy.

    Uruguay's Diego Godin scored the only goal of the Group D match in Natal in the 81st minute off a corner kick.

    FIFA, the governing body of the World Cup, is investigating an incident that occurred shortly before Godin scored. Television replays showed Uruguay's Luis Suarez appearing to bite Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in the shoulder. Italian players complained to the referee to no avail, and Chiellini pulled down his shirt to display the apparent bite marks.

    Suarez controversy

    If confirmed, it would be the third biting incident involving Suarez, so he faces possible suspension.

    Suarez was not penalized during the match, but his previous biting incidents in club play drew lengthy suspensions.

    "It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off," Chiellini told Italian station Rai TV. "It is clear-cut, and then there was the obvious dive [by Suarez] afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn't have done."

    Suarez dismissed the incident.

    "Those are situations that happen on the pitch," he said. "We were both just there inside the area. He shoved me with his shoulder, and my eye got [bruised] also."

    At the time of Godin's goal, Italy was playing with 10 men after Claudio Marchisio was shown a straight red card for a hard foul on Uruguay's Egidio Rios in the 59th minute.

    The loss eliminated Italy from the tournament. After the game, Italy's coach Cesare Prandelli and the country's football federation president, Giancarlo Abete, announced their resignations.

    In Tuesday's other Group D match, Costa Rica and England played to a scoreless draw in Belo Horizonte. Costa Rica had already clinched first place in the group after upsetting Uruguay and Italy.

    Costa Rica finished with seven points in Group D, followed by Uruguay with six, Italy with three and England with one.

    Wednesday's World Cup action features four games. In Group F, Nigeria plays Argentina in Porto Alegre and Iran faces Bosnia-Herzegovina in Salvador. In Group E, Honduras and Switzerland clash in Manaus, and Ecuador takes on France in Rio de Janeiro.

    Iran, Switzerland, Honduras, Ecuador, France and Nigeria are still bidding to make the knockout round. Argentina has secured a spot, and Bosnia-Herzegovina has been eliminated from contention.

    Click here to check out our special World Cup site
     

    Error rendering storify.

    Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    First US Cruise Ship in More Than 50 Years Sails to Cuba

    The Carnival Cruise Lines' Adonia with 700 passengers on board left port of Miami, Florida, for planned docking in Havana Monday

    Venezuelan President Raises Minimum Wage

    President Nicolas Maduro's announcement of a 30 percent increase in minimum wage comes as country is experiencing rampant inflation and economic stagnation

    Rescue Operation Brings Circus Lions from Peru to S. Africa

    Animal rights group rescued more than 30 lions from abuse at circuses in Peru and Colombia, flew them to South Africa Friday in what it called largest-ever airlift of lions

    Venezuela's Top Beer Maker Halts Output in Dispute with Government

    President threatened earlier in week to seize any plants halted by private companies and hand them over to workers

    US Reports Its First Zika-Related Death

    Puerto Rican man in his 70s died from internal bleeding related to rare immune reaction to Zika virus infection in February

    Rio Olympic Flame Visits UN Office in Geneva

    Flame, which was lit in Greece last week, was brought to UN for first time before it heads to Brazil for torch relay ahead of opening ceremony in Rio on Aug. 5