Colombia will go head-to-head with Greece in their Group C World Cup 2014 match on Saturday, June 14.
The match will kick-off at 12:00 p.m. EDT at Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte.
The game will be broadcast on Deportes RCN En Vivo, Caracol TV, RCN Television, DIRECTV Play Latin America, and DIRECTV Colombia in Colombia, as well as NERITsports, Neritan HD, NERIT1 in Greece.
The game will also air on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC One, and BBC iPlayer in the United Kingdom, as well as Univision Deportes, ESPN Deportes, Univision, Futbol de Primera Radio, ESPN3, Univision Deportes En Vivo, and ABC in the United States.
Live stream is available on Neritan Live Streaming, Watch ABC, and Watch ESPN (not for DirecTV subscribers).
Check out an AP preview of the match.
Colombia Searching for Equilibrium Against Greece
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Overcoming solidly defensive teams like Greece has never been the forte of South American sides, which thrive on attractive football.
Consequently, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman sees the main challenge for his players in their World Cup opener Saturday as respecting the way Greece plays.
Colombia, taking part in its first World Cup since 1998, boasts a strong attacking lineup despite Radamel Falcao’s exclusion. While Pekerman doesn’t want to sacrifice Colombia’s aesthetic style, he wants his team to play with equilibrium.
He also hopes his players won’t get frustrated at Greece’s tactics.
“Traditionally, South American teams have a hard time against these types of opponents, because they’re very solid, they play with a lot of determination and a mentality that say ‘we play this way and we can get a result,'” Pekerman said.
“They’re not bothered when others say to them, ‘Why don’t you play another way,'” he added. “Their style is well-defined and they are proud of it. Because of this, they are very strong.”
Colombia later trained at Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, which will host the Group C opener. Before the session, the players formed a circle on the pitch and prayed.
Pekerman said his team had become “a family” after Colombia was dealt a number of setbacks before travelling to Brazil.
Falcao, the team’s star forward who scored nine goals in qualifying, was cut from the squad last week after failing to recover in time from a serious knee injury. Center back Luis Perea was also dropped because of a thigh injury. Then, midfielder Aldo Ramirez was sent home with a foot injury days after Pekerman announced his final squad.
“Like all families, we deal with problems and work on finding a solution,” said Pekerman, adding that Falcao and Perea would be in Brazil to support the team. “The injuries are in the past.”
Colombia will also be without suspended midfielder Fredy Guarin for the first match.
Falcao’s injury came shortly after Colombia qualified and the team hasn’t had many international friendlies since then to experiment with how the other strikers, including Carlos Bacca, Teofilo “Teo” Gutierrez and Jackson Martinez, link up with main playmaker James Rodriguez.
“We hope (the strikers) adapt as quickly as possible,” Pekerman said. “There isn’t time for more tests. Whoever is selected must do important things.”
Greece considers Colombia as the toughest team in the group, which also includes Japan and Ivory Coast. Greece will be relying on veterans like Costas Katsouranis and captain Giorgos Karagounis, who were part of the team that won the 2004 European Championship.