Colombia must not getting carried away, says Pekerman

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Surprise package: Colombia were superb in their opening win over Greece.

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman has told his players they must keep their feet on the ground and stay focused after their impressive start at the World Cup.

The South Americans, making their first World Cup appearance since 1998, beat Greece 3-0 in their Group C opener in Belo Horizonte.

Goals from Pablo Armero, Teofilo Gutierrez and James Rodriguez handed Colombia a perfect start in Brazil.

"We are very happy to have taken this win," Pekerman said. "It was a good debut for my players who had never played at a World Cup.

"But this is just the first game and we haven't achieved anything yet.

"Our aim is to have a good World Cup and we've had a good start."

Ivory Coast also won their Group C game against Japan, 2-1.

The Africans are Colombia's next opponents at the Nacional Stadium in Brasilia on Thursday.

"Ivory Coast is one of the strongest African teams," Pekerman said. "They have already played in World Cups and have players that have a lot of experience.

"Besides the important players that they have, the fact that they have played at big competitions gives them that necessary calmness to know what is at stake.

"We will have to show the same focus that we had against Greece and try to recover the players as soon as possible considering the intensity of the game against Greece."

Rodriguez, who plays his club football at Monaco, thanked the Colombian fans.

The South Americans had the majority of the fans at the Estadio Mineirao in Saturday's match.

"The atmosphere was just incredible," Rodriguez said. "It felt as though we were playing home in Barranquilla."

The 22-year-old playmaker scored Colombia's third goal in stoppage time.

"It's a dream come true to score at a World Cup," he said. "I'm delighted but the most important thing is that we won and we are on the right path.

"This is only the beginning and all our fans need to be calm but have faith."

Greece are looking ahead to Thursday's clash against Japan at the Estadio das Dunas in Natal.

The Greeks felt they had played better than the final score suggested.

"Against Colombia, we should have done better in the finishing, I don't think we deserved a 3-0 defeat," Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis said. "But unfortunately that's football.

"There are three games in the group and we only lost one.

"For us it's a big success to be here, but we want to win too."

Greece coach Fernando Santos says his players must look ahead to the game against the Blue Samurai and forget the setback.

"You can't make excuses when you lose 3-0," the Portuguese said. "We had good spells of play and all we can do now is look at the next matches."

Most popular

Ferdinand takes to Twitter to lambast Lampard omission

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Unimpressed: Rio Ferdinand was disappointed that Frank Lampard did not feature for England against Italy.

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand has criticised national coach Roy Hodgson for not calling on Frank Lampard during Saturday night's World Cup defeat to Italy.

The out-of-contract Chelsea midfielder, 36, was an unused substitute as England began their Group D campaign with a 2-1 loss in Manaus.

Liverpool pair Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson were preferred in the deep-lying central midfield roles and Arsenal's Jack Wilshere came on for the latter, while Adam Lallana and Ross Barkley were the other substitutes deployed by Hodgson.

During a debate with his Twitter followers about England's attacking options, Ferdinand championed his former England team-mate lampard’s inclusion in the team.

Lampard is Chelsea's all-time record scorer with 211 goals and has found the net 29 times in 105 internationals.

Most popular

Argentina vs Bosnia preview: Latest news, likely line-ups and prediction

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
One to watch: Alongside Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero will lead Argentina's attack.

Sabella had a doubt over Napoli striker Higuain, who has been carrying an ankle injury for the past month, and Paris Saint-Germain's Ezequiel Lavezzi has been taking a leading stand-in role in training sessions.

Thousands of expectant Argentina fans have flooded Rio de Janeiro prior to the game, all confident that this time their side will lift the trophy for the third time.

"This is our first visit to Rio. The next one will be on July 13 for the final," said 35-year-old River Plate fan Fernando. "Coming to a beautiful city like Rio de Janeiro and being able to join Argentina in the Maracana in their first World Cup match is something special."

Bosnia are the only tournament debutants in Brazil and will become the 77th nation to take part in the sport's most prestigious competition.

While they lack major tournament knowhow, they impressed in European qualifying and with 30 goals they were the fourth-highest scorers in the UEFA zone behind Germany, the Netherlands and England.

Ever-presents in qualifying, Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic will spearhead Susic's attack at the tournament, where the Balkan nation will also come up against Iran and Nigeria.

Dzeko is expected to face Argentina despite missing a warm-up watch against Santos Under-21s and will be eager to replicate the season-ending form that saw him score nine goals in 11 matches as Manchester City pipped Liverpool to the Premier League title.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

Argentina (4-3-3)

Romero; Zabaleta, Garay, Fernandez, Rojo; Gago, Mascherano, Di Maria; Messi, Aguero, Lavezzi.

Bosnia (4-4-2)

Begovic; Mujdza, Bicakcic, Spahic, Kolasinac; Misimovic, Pjanic, Salihovic, Lulic; Dzeko, Ibivesic.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Argentina- Sergio Aguero

The Man City forward played some of the best football of his career last term and with all the focus on Lionel Messi he could be the one to catch fire in Brazil – especially if afforded a central role in Higuain’s absence.

Bosnia – Edin Dzeko

If Argentina have a weakness then it’s at the back and Dzeko will fancy his chances. He scored the goals to get his country to Brazil and arrives in top form after a great run for City while Aguero was out.

PREDICTION

Bosnia have some quality and a goal threat so it is plausible to see them scoring. But Argentina might just score more. 3-1, with two for Aguero.

Most popular