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Thursday, June 19, 2014

The FIFA World Cup Halftime and Postgame Runthrough Thread For 6/19/14: After Colombia-Ivory Coast (First Version)

Photo from FIFA.com

First, how Referee Carballo didn't send Diego Godin off for his deliberate challenge on Sterling after already receiving a yellow clearly must have been due to just the Spanish speaking solidarity. That can only explain how ridiculous that call was not made. 

Second, another listless performance from Gerrard, Welbeck, and Henderson, and it seems again that the same problems that Gerrard had with Lampard seem to be the same with Henderson. 

Henderson plays on the right at Liverpool a little ahead of Gerrard, but he's just playing ahead of him in the center and neither really are committed to joining in on the attack. Henderson has got to stick behind Gerrard and protect him when he gets forward while the captain has to be that deep lying playmaker for his nation. That is the only way they will get themselves out of this mess. 

For Oscar Tabarez, it was as perfect of a half you could come up with outside of Godin being lucky to not be out of here. Rios was sensational at disrupting, and also of a handball outside of the book, 19-yar Jose Gimenez is starting his first chapter on what could be a great career book he has written. 

Finally the woes continue for Wayne Rooney, who puts himself again in a perfect spot, only for the ball not to go into the net. 

His legacy with the national team is at stake this second half. 

(We'll be back after this for the post game). 

FT: Colombia 2-1 Ivory Coast (Rodriguez 64', Quintero 70'; Gervinho 73')


Jose Pekerman has pulled the right strings with this Colombia side, a far cry form his tentative approach eight years with Argentina in that infamous penalty loss without Messi or Tevez.

Pekerman shaw that Ibarbo wasn't providing much of a threat, and instead of playing Fredy Guarin chose Juan Quintero to come on. Quintero, who was James Rodriguez understudy in the youth team ranks and the Monaco man's replacement at Porto, showed tremendous composure here and secured the winning goal. It gives Pekerman a great dilemma for the next match against Japan, but it is likely Quintero will stay as a super sub.

Despite James Rodriguez taking all the headlines as well, Juan Cuadrado really has to get deserved star billing as he was mostly the man of the match. Sensational throughout and a constant terror, the Fiorentina man showed why he may very well go to Barcelona in the next few weeks.

From then on, the brilliance of Gervinho and the continued emergence of Serge Aurier led to Los Cafeteros holding on for a great victory that will likely see them reach the knockout stages. Mario Yepes two key tackles this match was later overshadowed by his 38-year-old body being bypassed by Drogba, Gervinho, and a few more as the match went on.

Both Colombian right backs Armero and Arias did not look good when Aurier pressed forward, and it will be something that Pekerman must find a way to fix. It won't hurt them against Japan in the next game, but could well be the Achilles heel that prevents a quarterfinal round or further this tournament for this explosive side.

(This thread will continue at halftime of England and Uruguay).

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