Match day 8 of the world cup 2014 saw the teams in Group C take on each other with the much awaited showdown between England and Uruguay, in Group D (the group of death), taking centre stage.
Colombia faced Ivory Coast in a match that would all but assure the winner a place in the knockout rounds. It was the Colombians who had the better of the first half chance with the Ivory Coast struggling to get their strikers into the game. Colombiaâ€™s Gutierrez had a chance to put his team in the lead but could only hit his shot wide. The teams thus went into the break at nil nil.
Yaya Toure could have scored from a free kick at the start of the second half but could only send his shot wide off the mark.
The match burst into life in the final 30 minutes with James Rodriguez scoring from Juan Cuardrado corner in the 64th minute. Juan Quintero doubled the lead six minutes later. However, Ivory Coast was back in the game in the 74th minute when Gervinho burst into the box to power an effort into the back of the net.
The Ivorians pushed for a leveler but it didnâ€™t come and Colombia won the game and would progress to the next round if Greece failed to beat Japan in the other group match.
The second match of the day was the highly anticipated clash between England and Uruguay with both teams needing nothing short of a win to stay in contention for a place in the next round. The loser of the game would be knocked out of the tournament.
The pre-match talk leading to the game was all about Englandâ€™s Wayne Rooney and Uruguayâ€™s Luis Suarez. Rooney had failed to score in the world cup and the pressure was on him to deliver and live up to his billing as Englandâ€™s savior. On the other hand, Suarez had issues with his fitness having had knee surgery less than 4 weeks before.
Uruguays coach made five changes from the team that lost to Costa Rica with Suarez the surprise inclusion. The first half hour was end to end with neither of the teams taking their chances and scoring the all important first goal. England should have taken the lead but Rooneyâ€™s header hit the bar in the 31st minute. This proved costly as Uruguay took the lead a few minutes later.
Edison Cavani produced an inch-perfect cross from the left that beat Englandâ€™s Jagielka with Suarez taking the chance afforded to him to nod the ball past Joe Hart.
The teams went into the break with Uruguay in the lead.
Cavani had a chance to double Uruguayâ€™s lead but shot wide when one on one with Englandâ€™s Joe Hart. It was England who would score the gameâ€™s second goal with Rooney finally opening his world cup account. Johnson cut in from the right and crossed the ball to Rooney who made no mistake in hitting the back of the net.
Englandâ€™s celebrations were short live as Suarez pounced on Gerrardâ€™s unintentional flick-on to slam the winning goal past Hart.
Despite the loss England still have a mathematical chance of making it with the groupâ€™s fate hanging on the match between Italy and Costa Rica.
The last match of the night had Group Câ€™s Japan and Greece face off against each other. The pre-match talk was about Manchester Unitedâ€™s Shinji Kagawa missing out of the first eleven with the Greeceâ€™s coach sticking with the team that lost to Colombia.
Both teams needed a win and Japan got the numerical advantage in the first half after Greeceâ€™s captain was sent off in the 38th minute. The Greeks held on and the teams went into the break at nil nil.
The second half was all about the Greekâ€™s resilience in defense with the Japanese failing to make use of their advantage to share the point with Greece after the final whistle.
This means that Colombia make it to the next round with the rest of the Group C teams needing a win in their final group matches to have any chance of progressing.