Greece and Cote d’Ivoire played a match on June 24 within the World Cup with a score of 2:1. There was a significant amount of controversy in the game because of what Georgios Samaras, a forward for Greece did within the last minutes of the game. The free agent made a big move and that led Greece to victory, which also means that they are in the top 16 – a feat that they have never previously been able to accomplish.
What Samaras Did
Greece had been playing very well throughout the game, though the favorite to win throughout the entire game was Cote d’Ivoire. The Ivory Coast team had missed the last 16 for the past two World Cups and many of the fans did not expect that to happen.
Andreas Samaris, the Greek central midfielder, was able to put his team ahead before halftime. There was then a penalty at the end of the game that Georgios Samaras was able to make, stealing the second spot in the last 16 away from Cote d’Ivoire – a maneuver that no one saw coming.
When Samaras took the penalty and scored the additional point, history was made. Greece had never qualified for a knockout stage in their history. 2014 marks an important year in Greek soccer history. Win or lose at this point, they have been able to make some history and show that they are a team to be reckoned with.
The Samaris/Samaras combo is a strong combination for the Greek soccer team and this is getting many people to rethink their betting strategies for the future games that will be played as more teams are able to secure their spots within their last 16.
Overview of the Game
Greece and Cote d’Ivoire were in Fortaleza, Brazil for their match on June 24 for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Fortaleza is one of the many sites throughout Brazil where matches are being played.
The Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) has a great team on paper and they were the favorite to win. They have various respectable players, but many of them are getting older.
The goals that have been made from Cote d’Ivoire have been during open play and the have shown that they are timid within the aerial game. The players at Cote d’Ivoire were also wearing black arm bands as a way of paying respect to Yaya and Kolo’s brother Oyala Toure, who died this past Thursday against his fight with cancer.
Very early in the game, Panagiotis Kone, a midfielder from Greece, suffered a hamstring injury and limped off of the field. He was replaced by Samaris, which was probably the best move that the Greeks could have made at this point.
Shortly thereafter, Cote d’Ivoire players Yaya and Drogba were serving up the ball but the Greece keeper got control of it. The Greek backline proved that they were worthy of what the Africans were serving u and that’s when everyone in the stands noticed the game changing ever so slightly.
At the 28th minute, the Greek keeper takes off his gloves and signals to medical to look at his back. With this kind of problem. Greek already had two subs and this wasn’t looking good for the Greeks. He continued to play until the 19th minute when there was a foul to him. The substitute was warming up, but it seems that he won’t be needed.
Cote d’Ivoire had some sloppy play in the middle of the field and this has allowed Greece to take advantage of the situation. There have been stoppages but the overall play has lacked the enthusiasm that many people came to see.
The defense on the Greek side was opening up and it looked like Yaya and Dragba were going to make a goal but Drogba wasn’t able to complete it.
By the 40th minute in, no one had scored. Cote d’Ivoire has proven in the past that they need to get a goal in early to come out on top. The longer they go through the game goalless, the more they open it up to Greece.
Greece makes their first goal thanks to Samaris taking action and is able to get it into the net, right past Barry.
Now with Greece in the lead, Yaya tries to equalize, but Greece has the mojo and the defenders get the numbers to prevent the shot.
At halftime, all Greece needs to do is hold on if the results stand as they are. However, Ivory Coast is going through if they can tie up the game.
Desperation is seen from Cote d’Ivoire and they are doing all that they can to burst with energy across the field, though they are no match for Greece at this point. The game is in a higher tempo and Cote d’Ivoire has been playing their heart out, but Greece isn’t giving the opposition a chance.
Out of nowhere, Bony is able to tie it up and that’s at the 73rd minute. With Cote d’Ivoire on the board now, they have the spot and it’s theirs to lose. There’s only 15 minutes left in the game.
The subs are making the game because Samaris was a sub for Greece and Bony was a sub for Cote d’Ivoire – and they are the ones proving the most worthy throughout the game.
Torosidis on the Greek side crosses from the right in the 80th minute. It hit the post but doesn’t go in – and that gives Barry a wake-up call.
Salpingidis is the next and gets it 1 yard from the mouth of the goal, but no Greek attackers are there to make sure it makes it all the way through.
That’s when the game changes. There’s a penalty to Greece in the 91st minute. Samaras takes it and makes the goal. Sio, a striker from Cote d’Ivoire was called out by the referee and that’s why Samaras was able to make the goal from the spot that he was at.
What Happens Next
There are a lot of things that can happen as a result of the game between Greece and Cote d’Ivoire. The game is over for Cote d’Ivoire, who will be returning to the Ivory Coast after losing their chances to go further in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Greece, however, will be going into unchartered territory. They will be playing Costa Rica in the next round, which proves to be a worthy game.
The defense and the back line with the Greeks have proven to be strong. It’s likely that the Greek Coach will be starting Samaras and Samaris, which are the two players that showed the most heart. Considering that Samaras was a sub and wouldn’t have made it out to the field if Kone hadn’t been injured. Even if Kone’s hamstring is improved, the coach would be nuts if he didn’t let Samaras out on the field against Costa Rica.
It’s likely that more people are going to bet on Greece after what they were able to accomplish on the field in Fortaleza. They will be heading to Recife, Brazil to play in the Arena Pernambuco on Sunday, June 29. Many from Costa Rica were hoping Greece would win against the Ivory Coast, so it should result in an interesting match.