World Cup roundup: Epic ending puts Greece in second round

By From page B2 | June 25, 2014

FORTALEZA, Brazil — Georgios Samaras scored an injury-time penalty to put Greece into the second round of the World Cup with a 2-1 win over Ivory Coast on Tuesday.

Samaras was adjudged to have been tripped in the area by substitute Giovanni Sio, and calmly slotted in the spot kick for a win that puts Greece through to the knockout stage. Ivory Coast would have advanced with a draw.

The Greeks had taken the lead just before halftime through substitute Andreas Samaris, but substitute Wilfried Bony equalized for Ivory Coast in the 74th, beating goalkeeper Pangiotis Glykos from close range after being set up by Gervinho.

That goal looked like it would put the Africans through until the late drama. Samaras met a cross in the area and went to shoot with his left leg, which got caught against the leg of Sio. Samaras’ foot then hit the ground and he fell to the turf, drawing a penalty.

With his country’s hopes on the line, Samaras sent his spot kick past goalkeeper Boubacar Barry, who guessed the right way but couldn’t keep the ball out.

Uruguay 1, Italy 0: At Natal, Brazil, Diego Godin scored in the 81st minute as Uruguay edged 10-man Italy to reach the second round of the World Cup, although the victory was overshadowed by a biting incident involving the South American side’s star forward Luis Suarez.

With four-time champion Italy heading home after the group phase for a second time in four years, coach Cesare Prandelli and football federation president Giancarlo Abete both resigned moments after the match.

Godin rose above a crowd of defenders to meet a corner with his left shoulder and veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had no chance.

Moments earlier, replays showed Suarez apparently bite the shoulder of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini as the pair clashed in the Italian penalty area.

Suarez was already sanctioned with a heavy ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in the English Premier League in 2013 and FIFA can sanction players for biting with bans of up to two years.

Chiellini said Suarez should have been sent off and that the red card for Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio should never have been given.

Colombia 4, Japan 1: At Cuiaba, Brazil, James Rodriguez scored a brilliant goal and set up two more for Jackson Martinez as Colombia routed Japan to confirm top spot in Group C and eliminate the Asian champions from the World Cup.

Already assured of advancing, Colombia guaranteed first place with its third straight win, setting up a second-round match against Uruguay.

The Colombians started with a virtual second-string lineup but still went in front when Juan Cuadrado — one of the few regular starters — drilled in a 17th-minute penalty.

Costa Rica 0, England 0: At Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Costa Rica has finished first in what many considered the World Cup’s toughest group after a dour draw against a second-string England side Tuesday.

Costa Rica only needed a draw to top Group D and it played that way, setting up in a defensive 5-3-2 formation.

England had already been eliminated and will go home without a win after striker Daniel Sturridge missed a number of chances throughout the match.

U.S. update

Jozy Altidore will miss the United States’ World Cup game against Germany on Thursday because of his strained left hamstring.

The forward was injured in the Americans’ opening 2-1 win against Ghana on June 16 and didn’t play in Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Portugal.

“Jozy is recovering really well,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Tuesday. “This game comes still too early for him. But we’re working on him. We’ll get him back in this tournament, as we said, so once this game hopefully is done successfully, we’ll have a good chance to have him back then in the team.”

Germany has four points and leads Group G on goal difference over the United States. Portugal and Ghana, who also play Thursday, have one point apiece.

Defender Matt Besler said he felt pain in his right hamstring when he stretched during a clearance Sunday but said it was less painful than during the opener, when he came out at halftime.

”Matt Besler is no problem at all,” Klinsmann said.

The Associated Press

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