Colombia marked their long-awaited return to FIFA World Cup action with an entertaining 3-0 win over Greece on Saturday.
Jose Pekerman’s men, making a first appearance at the finals of the World Cup since 1998, produced a strong showing to enhance their hopes of qualifying for the last 16.
Star striker Radamel Falcao’s omission from the squad had dominated the build-up to the tournament for Colombia.
However, backed by a vast and vociferous travelling support at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Colombia showed that they could perform without the Monaco forward.
Defender Pablo Armero opened the scoring early on, before Teofilo Gutierrez – the man tasked with leading the line in the absence of Falcao – doubled his side’s advantage just before the hour mark.
James Rodriguez added a third in injury time to put the seal on victory for Colombia in Group C’s opening game.
Colombia’s next match comes against Ivory Coast on Thursday, while Greece will bid to bounce back on the same day versus Japan.
The South American outfit made the most of a fast start to proceedings, moving ahead after just five minutes in somewhat fortuitous circumstances.