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Pekerman pleased that his young students have passed first test

With fears over nerves allayed and buoyed by a sizeable support, Colombia are attempting to play down expectations that they could seal a place in the knockout stages.

The South Americans marked their return to the World Cup stage after a 16-year absence in sparkling fashion on Saturday, swatting aside former European champions Greece 3-0 in their opening Group C match.

Their coach, Jose Pekerman, though, was merely happy his team had not cracked under the weight of expectation on a first appearance at the finals for his entire squad.

"Obviously, we are faced with a very difficult match with an experienced opponent in the Ivory Coast and the sensation is we have passed a good examination on our debut," said Pekerman. "With all that it entails, the pressure that comes before a performance after a long period of time away and with so many World Cup debutants."

They will have to do without striker Carlos Bacca in their final two group matches, however. The 27-year-old suffered a muscle injury in a training session this week and now requires up to 10 days' rest.

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