Belo Horizonte (Brazil), June 14: Colombia made a grand return to the World Cup after 16 years when they trounced Greece 3-0 in a Group C match before 57,000 spectators at the Estadio Mineirao here on Saturday.
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The three goals were scored by Pablo Amero (5th minute), Teofilo Guiterrez (58th minute) and James Rodriguez (92nd minute) even though the Greeks had a better possession of the ball. The Greeks made a total of 12 shots at the target but failed to score a single one.
Greek striker Georgios Samaras had an ordinary day in the field. Another striker Theofanis Gekas, too, failed to find the net.
Colombia became the fourth team from the American continents to begin with a win
The Colombian win meant that the Greeks continued with their poor record of not winning the opening game in the World Cup finals (this is their third appearance after 1994 and 2010) while the Latin Americans stretched their unbeaten streak to eight games.
Greece, though, with 54 percent held more possession and had more shots (12) on goal but failed to find the back of the net.
Colombia became the fourth team from the American continents and third from Latin America to begin their World Cup campaign with victories. Brazi, Mexico and Chile defeated Craotia, Cameroon and Australia in their opening matches in the last two days.
Singer Shakira expressed her pleasure over Twitter after Colombia's victory.
Japan and Costa Rica are the other two teams in the group.
Colombia: 1 Ospina (gk), 2 C Zapata, 3 Yepes (c), 6 C Sanchez, 7 P Amero, 8 Aguilar T, 9 Teo, 10 James, 11 Cuadrado, 14 Ibarbo, 18 C Zuniga Coach: Jose Pekerman
Greece: 1 Karnezis (gk), 2 Maniatis, 4 Manolas, 7 Samaras, 8 Kone, 14 Salpingidis, 15 Torosidis, 17 Gekas, 19 Sokratis, 20 Cholevas, 21 Katsouranis Coach: Fernando Santos