James Rodriguez rounded off a convincing 3-0 win for Colombia over Greece as the South American side made light of the absence of injured talismanic striker Radamel Falcao in their opening Group C match at the World Cup finals on Saturday in Belo Horizonte.
Full-back Pablo Armero had given the Colombians — appearing at their first finals since 1998 — the lead in the fifth minute and with the Greeks offering little in attack while Teofilo Gutierrez’s 13th goal for his country shortly before the hour mark wrapped up the three points.
Rodriguez, nicknamed the ‘new kid’ as he is seen as the successor to legend Carlos Valderrama whose nickname was ‘the kid’, rounded off an impressive performance with a sweet left footed shot in time added on.
Armero’s goal was the fastest in Colombia’s five appearances at a World Cup finals, beating the 19 minutes it took another defender Francisco Zuluaga to score against Uruguay in the 1962 finals in Chile.
The other two sides in the group the talented but ageing Ivory Coast and Japan meet later on Saturday in Recife.