Colombia have revived their hopes of a place in the knockout rounds at Thailand 2012 with a resounding 11-3 win over the Solomon Islands side at Bangkok’s Nimibutr Stadium.
This was a match that both these sides needed to win after losing their opening fixtures, and it was the South Americans who triumphed thanks largely to a second-half collapse from their opponents. In the opening 45, the Solomons had been much improved from the team thrashed 16-0 by Russia but still conceded too many opportunities, and this resulted in Colombia scoring moving two goals in front inside seven minutes.
Jhonathan Toro scored the first, shooting home from close range from Jose Quiroz’s pass, and Quiroz himself doubled their advantage seconds later following a cross by Yefri Duque. But the Solomons initially showed that they were capable of fighting back, and hopes were raised by their first goal of the tournament, scored from the penalty spot after 14 minutes by captain Elliot Ragomo.
Within 60 seconds, the Pacific Islanders were level through a Samuel Osifelo free-kick, and though Toro reestablished Colombia’s slender lead, another Solomons counter enabled Mica Leaalafa to send them into half-time level at 3-3.
The second half was all about Colombia though. Andres Reyes put them back in front with a fine turn and shot two minutes into the second half, and Yefri Duque made it 5-3 just before the half-hour mark. However, it was in the final ten minutes that the floodgates really opened, with six more goals flying into the Solomons’ net.
Reyes got the first, rounding the keeper to convert, and Toro completed his hat-trick from close range after Jorge Abril had grabbed Colombia’s seventh. Angellot Caro then made it 9-3 before Yeisson Fonnegra and Prado rounded off the scoring and completed another miserable match for Oceania's champions.
“In the second half our counter-attacks were lethal. It is true that we have accomplished something historic by winning our first-ever World Cup match, but I can’t be completely satisfied just yet. Now I have to think the best way to play Russia," Amey Fonnegra, Colombia coach.
"It's obvious that I am satisfied with the first half and very unsatisfied with the second. We lost our concentration and stopped executing our game-plan, which was to pressure them and mark tight in one-on-ones. We have the talent, but we must keep working in order to improve," Dickson Kadau, Solomon Islands coach.