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Cote d’Ivoire crash out of World Cup at the last minute

Cote d’Ivoire crash out of World Cup at the last minute
June 24
23:49 2014

Greece advanced to the round-of-16 thanks to a stoppage-time penalty that gave them a 2-1 win over the Ivory Coast.

Wilfried Bony might have considered himself the hero after equalising for Les Elephants in the 74th minute, but a soft penalty call in stoppage time allowed Georgios Samaras to win the match for the Greeks.

Veteran striker Didier Drogba started for Ivory Coast along with Yaya and Kolo Toure despite the recent death of their brother Ibrahim. The Ivoriens wore black armbands as a sign of mourning.

The Greeks had exited at the group stage at the 1994 and 2010 tournaments, and looked set for another early exit until Samaras scored an injury-time penalty to set up a meeting with Group D winners Costa Rica in the second round.

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Greece 2The Elephants had been second in the group heading into the match, but Greece, who were yet to score in the tournament, gave them real cause for concern as they finally demonstrated their goal threat.

Jose Holebas crashed a shot against the crossbar on 42 minutes, and Greece capitalised on some loose play as Andreas Samaris played a one-two with Samaras before finding the net.

Midway through the second half, Greece again rattled the woodwork as Giorgos Karagounis hit the bar, but five minutes later, Ivory Coast drew level when Gervinho squared for Bony to drill home.

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That had looked set to see the Ivoriens through until Giovanni Sio brought down Samaras in the area in the 92nd minute and the striker converted the penalty.

In the pther group game, Jackson Martinez scored twice as Colombia beat Japan 4-1 to top the group with maximum points on Tuesday and earn a second-round meeting with Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro.

 

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