Colombia inflicted a heavy defeat on Ivory Coast in Kazan tonight, with five different scorers in their 5-2 win that sets-up a quarter-final tie against Brazil and guarantees at two South American nations will be in the final four. Ivory Coast will be heading back to the drawing board after shipping eleven goals in two matches after conceding just one in their opening pair.
Two changes for Colombia from the side that lost to Mexico and squeezed through thanks to a last-minute goal: Pablo Armero and Raúl Scarpeta in for Camacho and Schmiedebach. A trio of changes for Ivory Coast, with starts for Ali Cissé, Moussa Kone, and Romaric from their 1-6 defeat by Chile.
James Rodríquez set the tone for the game early on when he lashed a shot from 20 yards into the top corner after Michel Koudou had pushed away a shot from Juan Quintero before the Colombian man played the loose ball back across the box.
Colombia doubled the lead shortly after when a corner routine found its way to James who knocked the ball back towards the penalty spot just as Fredy Guarín arrived to smash a shot into the roof of the net for 2-0. When Koudou tipped over a curling James free-kick before the game reached the 20 minute mark, it looked like being a long day at the office for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations runners-up.
Two became three shortly after the half-hour. Juan Quintero bent a free-kick from 25 yards around the five-man wall and into Koudou’s top right corner and Colombia were certain to meet Brazil in the quarters. Salomon Kalou pulled a goal back for Ivory Coast on 37′ when he headed home a Gervinho free-kick, but Cristian Zapata restored the three-goal lead right after the break with a near-post header from a corner.
Gervinho restored a glimmer of hope for Ivory Coast with a brilliant solo effort with a little under half-hour to play, but Victor Ibarbo put the game to bed with Colombia’s fifth, slotted home from twelve yards out in the 79th minute.
FIFA WORLD CUP: SECOND ROUND COLOMBIA 5-2 IVORY COAST James 3 Kalou 37 Guarín 9 Gervinho 63 Quintero 33 Zapata 49 Ibarbo 79