Sports

Colombia leading Greece 1-0 at halftime through deflected Pablo Armero goal

  • Colombia's Pablo Armero, right, kicks the ball at Greece's goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis to score his side's first goal during the group C World Cup soccer match between Colombia and Greece at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    Colombia's Pablo Armero, right, kicks the ball at Greece's goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis to score his side's first goal during the group C World Cup soccer match between Colombia and Greece at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

  • Greece's Kostas Manolas fails to stop the ball as Colombia's Pablo Armero scores the opening goal during the group C World Cup soccer match between Colombia and Greece at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014.  (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Greece's Kostas Manolas fails to stop the ball as Colombia's Pablo Armero scores the opening goal during the group C World Cup soccer match between Colombia and Greece at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)  (The Associated Press)

Left back Pablo Armero's early goal gave Colombia a 1-0 lead at halftime against Greece in Saturday's Group C opener.

Armero squeezed in the shot in the fifth minute after midfielder James Rodriguez let Juan Cuadrado's cross roll across the danger area. Armero's shot took a deflection off Greece center back Costas Manolas, leaving goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis stranded as the ball rolled over the line.

It is Colombia's first World Cup appearance in 16 years and the goal sent the overwhelmingly pro-Colombia crowd into a frenzy.

Greece nearly struck back moments later, but midfielder Panagiotis Kone's shot curved just wide of goal at Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte. Moments before the break, Kone had a powerful shot well saved by Orestis Karnezis.