Two of the biggest stars of Ligue 1 are currently enjoying fine form as they represent their home nations in Brazil. Edison Cavani and James Rodriguez were on victorious sides in their respective second weeks, as both South American sides look towards reaching the knockout stages.
Monaco’s Rodriguez once again led his team to victory, putting in another fantastic performance as Colombia defeated the Ivory Coast 2-1. After Japan’s draw with Greece, it means that Colombia have reached the last 16 for the first time since 1990.
Rodriguez opened the scoring for the South Americans in the 64th minute, out jumping Didier Drogba to head Fiorentina’s Juan Cuadrado’s corner past Boubacar Barry in the Ivory Coast goal. It was the midfielder’s second goal in as many matches. He becomes only the second Colombian player to score in competitive World Cup matches.
Toulouse’s Abel Aguilar also featured against the Ivory Coast. Playing a key part in midfield keeping it controlled, without the influential Fredy Guarin, Aguilar had a solid game. He was substituted in the 79th minute, replaced by Alexander Mejia. Goalkeeper David Ospina of Nice made his second appearance in Brazil and faced a more difficult match than the one against Greece.
Juan Quintero scored Colombia’s second before former Arsenal forward Gervinho scored to leave the last 15 minutes a cagey affair, with both teams desperate for the three points. Colombia managed to hold on to progress from Group C.
Uruguay’s progress from Group D lies in their own hands after a 2-1 victory over England in Sao Paulo. Cavani led the attacking line, with Liverpool’s Luis Suarez partnering him and Diego Forlan dropping to the bench.
Cavani set up the first goal of the game, six minutes before half time. The PSG striker received a pass out wide from Rodriguez before lifting a beautifully weighted cross from the edge of the box. The ball floated over the head of Gary Cahill into the path of Suarez whose pinpoint accurate header eluded Joe Hart in the England goal.
The Uruguayan missed a great chance to put the game beyond England in the second half and double his tally for the tournament. After catching the England defence by surprise, leave plenty of space behind them, Ludero laid a perfectly weighted pass into Cavani’s path. From the edge of the six yard box, with Hart rushing towards him, Cavani prodded the ball beyond the goalkeeper but also wide of the post, much to his frustration.
Rooney levelled the game with 15 minutes left to play before Suarez smashed the ball past Hart to put England out of the World Cup.
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