The Ivory Coast looked finished after Juan Quintero had doubled Colombia's advantage minutes after James Rodriguez had put them ahead, but a wondergoal from Gervinho pulled the Elephants back into the game and set up a close ending, with Colombia hanging on to take a huge step towards qualification.
Although the match began as an open encounter, chances were few and far between in the early stages. Play had to be stopped early due to a giant inflatable ball being hurled onto the pitch, and the first chance was spurned by Teofilo Gutierrez shortly after collecting Rodriguez's fine pass, only to overrun the play.
Gutierrez had another fine chance just later as the ball fell to him in the six-yard box, but it appeared not to be the River Plate forward's day, as he got his feet into a mess and couldn't get the ball out from underneath in time to force it over the goalline.
England v. Uruguay
England v. Uruguay
Ivory Coast were making an even contest of it, however, but were slightly fortunate to get in at halftime with the score at 0-0. In the second period, however, it would be a different story, both in terms of goals and the direction of play.
The West Africans came storming out of the blocks after halftime and immediately created a flurry of chances, with Yaya Toure going close and Wilfried Bony kicking fresh air with an overhead effort. Juan Cuadrado also came close for the Colombians, turning his marker but forcing a fine save from Boubacar Barry, as the stopper tipped it onto the post.
Against the run of play, however, and with a most atypical goal, Rodriguez put his side ahead. Cuadrado's delivery from the corner was a good one, and Rodriguez escaped his marker, the substitute Didier Drogba, to fire a brilliant header into the net. The Ivorians looked to get back into the game with a corner, but soon fell two goals behind, a seemingly fatal mistake after Colombia countered from the poor delivery, and the substitute Quintero finished smartly after a great pass from Gutierrez.
The Ivory Coast looked beaten, but immediately afterwards scored one of the goals of the tournament to get themselves back in it. Gervinho, looking a far cry from his Arsenal days, picked up the ball on the left and skipped daintily past Camilo Zuniga and Cristian Zapata before curling an excellent finish past David Ospina in the near post to set up a tense finale.
The Ivory Coast pushed hard for a later equaliser, but were twice thwarted by the excellent Mario Yepes, who prevented Tiote and Bony from capitalising on a late free-kick before Quintero took an audacious effort which nearly found the target from extreme range. But Yepes almost undid all his good work in the final minute of injury time as he let a loose ball slip for Drogba to pounce, but Ospina flew out of his goal to clear before the veteran striker could seize the opportunity. Colombia held on to win, and while they're not there yet, the South Americans now have one foot in the knockout rounds.
Ivory Coast: Barry, Aurier, Zokora, Bamba, Boka, Serey (Bolly 73'), Tiote, Toure, Gradel (Kalou 67'), Bony (Drogba 60'), Gervinho.
Goals: Gervinho 72'
Colombia: Ospina, Zuniga, Zapata, Yepes, Armero (Arias 72'), Aguilar (Mejia 79'), Sánchez, Cuadrado, James Rodriguez, Ibarbo (Quintero 53'), Gutierrez.
Goals: Rodriguez 64', Quintero 70'