Colombia were playing without the injured Falcao and Cote d’Ivoire started with Didier Drogba on the bench.
The South Americans didn’t need their talisman but Ivory Coast only came to life when Drogba was introduced. He may not have scored a goal but his presence on the pitch must have had an effect.
Next up the two winners meet in Brasilia on Thursday and the two losers get another chance to get their 2014 World Cup campaign off to a winning start in Natal; a midnight kick-off for viewers in Europe.
Even without Radamel Falcao, Group C seriously looks like Colombia’s for the taking; especially if they start off with a convincing win against Greece in Belo Horizonte on Saturday.
Ivory Coast’s encounter with Japan, played at three o’clock in the morning (Central European Time), could be the match that decides who will take the second group place.
This was the viewing time originally planned for the Italy vs England encounter in Group D; subsequently brought forward three hours. The viewing public in Manaus were not consulted about the time change, which was made after pressure from the European television networks.
I’m not sure if I’d rather watch a game that starts at midnight or three in the morning; probably the morning. For some, it’s easier to set the alarm for three than stay up two hours after midnight.
Once the group games are played, Greece could join Australia in going home pointless.
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