BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Colombia's new generation unlocked Greece's notoriously steely defense with such verve that they could just have become the team to beat in Group C at the World Cup.
The Colombians beat Greece 3-0 on Saturday, and didn't need star striker Radamel Falcao to do it.
Falcao, who was ruled out of the World Cup due to a knee injury, was just one among the thousands of Colombia supporters who dominated the crowd, turning Mineirao Stadium into a sea of yellow, tinged with red and blue in the colors of the national flag.
The fans chanted constantly as playmakers James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado sliced through Greece's defense and helped Colombia get an early jump in a group that also contains Japan and Ivory Coast.
Colombia's golden generation of the 1990s, led by Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama, failed to live up to its promise. Now, Colombians are calling the 22-year-old Rodriguez "El Nuevo Pibe," or the "New Kid," and are hoping he can lead this group to the kind off success that the previous generation couldn't quite achieve.
Rodriguez capped a fine performance by scoring Colombia's third goal, after a neat backheel flick from Cuadrado.
Sloppy defending from Greece led to an early goal from Colombia, with Pablo Armero scoring in the fifth minute.
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