Greece 2-1 Ivory Coast: Bony goal not enough

Kostas Mitroglou Greece

An equalising goal from Swansea's Wilfried Bony wasn't enough to prevent an emphatic late penalty from Greece to put them through to the next round winning 2-1.

Ivory coast went into this game knowing that a draw may well be enough, whilst Greece had to win no matter what.

Greece started off the better of the two when Lazaros Christodoulopoulos found some room and smashed the bar. Panagiotis Kone unfortunately for Greece got injured early on and was replaced by Andreas Samaris who hoped to make an impact.

It was indeed the substitute that gave Greece the lead, Check Tiote gives away the ball with a horribly weak pass and Samaris latched onto it. He played a one-two with Giorgios Samaras before executing brilliantly past Boubacar Barry. At this stage Greece were qualifying ahead of Ivory Coast.

Yaya Toure nearly gave Ivory Coast an instant reply with a brilliant individual run but his shot was blocked in the end.

The second half started with both sides knocking on each others defences and Greece went close when Christodoulopoulos dragged his shot slightly wide. Not long after Boubacar Barry was forced into making a terrific save when Dimitris Salpingidis smashed the ball towards goal on the edge of the box.

Ivory Coast kept running forward but every time produced nothing, both down to poor shooting and great defending from Greece. However for every five Ivory Coast breaks, Greece would have one vital break. Giorgos Karagounis nearly capitalised on one of these hitting the bar with a thunderous strike from distance.

It looked for a long time that it wasn’t going to be Ivory Coast’s night, but earlier substitute Wilfried Bony gave them the breakthrough after 74 minutes. A great through ball from Yaya Toure released Gervinho who squared the ball back across to Bony who slotted it into the bottom left corner.

Ivory Coast were now qualifying ahead of Greece which meant the European country needed to throw everything they had. It looked for all the world that Ivory Coast were going to finish runners up and qualify but then the unbelievable happened. In the 94th minute the ball came into Samaras who at first looked to have kicked the floor and fallen over but there was a slight touch from Giovanni Sio and a penalty was given.

Under such incredible pressure Samaras converted the penalty and gave Ivory Coast barely anytime to reply, putting Greece through into the last 16.

What a night for Greece but it was a night where Ivory Coast were made to rue missed chances and subsequently exit the World Cup.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch