Didier Drogba came off the bench to inspire Ivory Coast to a 2-1 comeback victory over Japan in a World Cup Group C match on Saturday. Drogba, who had been carrying an injury, came on in the 62nd minute when his team was losing 1-0. The talismanic striker’s arrival immediately lifted the Ivory Coast team and Wilfried Bony and Gervinho scored with headers two minutes apart. Both goals were set up by curling crosses from defender Serge Aurier. Keisuke Honda’s first-half goal had given Japan the lead.
In Group C’s other match, Colombia started its first World Cup campaign in 16 years in dazzling fashion, beating Greece 3-0 to open Group C on Saturday in front of a big, loud pro-Colombian crowd. Left back Pablo Armero opened the scoring in the fifth minute when his deflected shot rolled past Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis. Striker Teofilo Gutierrez poked in Colombia’s second goal from a deflected corner in the 58th and James Rodriguez capped it off with a low shot in stoppage time after a slick backheel flick from Juan Cuadrado. Colombia’s pace and trickery were too much for Greece to handle in the latter stages as the 57,174 crowd, most dressed in bright yellow shirts, constantly chanted “Ole, ole” at Estadio Mineriao.