After an underwhelming first half, goals from James Rodríguez and Juan Quintero helped the Colombians get past a tough Ivory Coast team 2-1. Despite a late goal from Gervinho, the Colombians were the better side on the day, pressuring the Ivorian forwards and attacking well on the counter. 

The Ivory Coast and Colombia were both looking to take control of Group C after each team won its opening match. There were no surprises for the Colombian side with Teófilo Gutiérrez and James Rodriguez starting for “Los Cafeteros”, while Didier Drogba surprisingly was once again emitted from the starting XI for “Les Elephants.”

It was the dominant Colombian crowd that almost had something to cheer about on 8’, but the final ball from Juan Cuadrado didn’t make it to his desired target and the first real attack from the Colombians was stifled by the Ivorian defense.  The Colombians seemed to have the upper hand after 15 minutes, controlling the midfield well and countering quickly when given the chance.

Teo should have put the Colombians up on 28’ as Rodriguez found him wide open directly in front of goal, only for him to scuff his shot wide for a goal kick. It was by far the best chance of the match for either team, one that Teo would desperately love to have back as the Ivorians seemed to be coming more and more into the game.

Through 45 minutes, the teams went into the dressing rooms tied at zero. The Colombians started off strong, but the Elephants of Ivory Coast were the more dominant team as the half drew closer to an end. Outside of Teo’s huge chance on the 28’, neither team really looked overly threatening as they each mustered only one shot on goal.

There were no changes for either side as both teams came out for the second half. Yaya Toure had the first decent chance when the Ivory Coast was awarded a free kick just to the right of goal about 25-yards out. But his attempt came nowhere near the target and the Colombians escaped what could have been a dangerous second half start for "Les Elephants."

It didn’t take long for the first change of the game to be made as Juan Quintero came on in favor of Victor Ibarbo in the 52’. It was the Colombians that came the closest on 59’ though, as Juan Cuadrado’s sublime set of individual skill gave him the space to shoot from a very acute angle, only to have keeper Boubacar Barry parry it off of the post. 

The crowd then roared with excitement in the 60’ when Didier Drogba came on for Wilfried Bony. It was only three minutes later when the Colombians broke the deadlock as James Rodriguez scored his second goal in as many games with a beautiful header off a pristine corner from Juan Cuadrado to bring the Colombians up 1-0.

Juan Quintero could possibly have sent the Colombians into the knockout rounds as he put the Colombians up 2-0 on 70’. The Ivory Coast continued to have trouble playing out of the back, as they lost the ball in their own third, only to see the Colombians go on a 3 on 1 break which ended in Quintero being playing through and coolly finishing what was his first ever international goal.  

The Ivory Coast did get one back on 73’ when Gervinho created one of the best individual goals of the tournament thus far. Splitting two defenders on the left flank and then moving past one more, he cut inside and smashed it past keeper David Ospina to make it 2-1. The game completely opened up from that point on to the joy of those watching. It became an end-to-end match with both teams creating opportunities for themselves.

It was not enough for the Ivorians though as Colombia grinded it out to win 2-1, which means that they will automatically make it into the Round of 16. After a rather lackluster first half, the second half saw a combined three goals hit the back of the net. Behind goals from Quintero and Rodriguez, the Colombians look like they will offer any team in the tournament a run for their money.