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Colombia beats Cote d'Ivoire 2-1 in World Cup

Updated: 2014-06-20 07:46 (Agencies)

Colombia beats Cote d'Ivoire 2-1 in World Cup

Colombia's Juan Cuadrado (L) fights for the ball with Cote d'Ivoire's Arthur Boka during their 2014 World Cup Group C soccer match at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia, June 19, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

The crowd roared with relief at the final whistle, with Drogba's introduction in the 60th minute helping pep up Cote d'Ivoire's attack that had previously looked rudderless with Wilfried Bony as the lone striker.

"I must say that we didn't deserve to lose," Cote d'Ivoire coach Sabri Lamouchi said. "It was very experienced Colombia team who waited for us to make mistakes."

The Ivorians may still need to beat Greece in their last group game to reach the knockout stage for the first time at a World Cup.

Drogba may now start that match but Lamouchi will also be looking for more from the squads top player, Yaya Toure, who seems like a shadow of the player who starred for Manchester City in the English Premier League last season.

There was no mistaking the passion of the Cote d'Ivoire lineup - Die was in tears during the national anthem - but the team's undoubted attacking quality has been lacking so far at this World Cup and Colombia looked more threatening going forward.

The best chance of a cagey first half was spurned by Gutierrez, who miscued a volley with the goal at his mercy after being perfectly set up by Rodriguez's left-wing cross in the 28th. Otherwise, the highlight of the first 45 minutes came when a large inflatable ball bounced onto the playing surface, causing a brief stoppage.

Tricky winger Juan Cuadrado struck the bar with a fierce, angled shot before teammate Rodriguez, named man of the match, broke the deadlock with the kind of header that Drogba - the player supposed to be marking the Monaco playmaker - has been used to delivering.

Quintero's side-footed finish gave Colombia breathing space, meaning that Gervinho's goal - he jinked through two defenders, beat another and shot inside goalkeeper David Ospina's near post - proved to be just a consolation.

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