The 32 World Cup teams are divided into eight groups of four during the group stage of the 2014 World Cup. In the third of a series of worksheets to help you practice your English we focus on Group C which includes Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan. You can download a worksheet (with answers) here. There is also a transcript and a list of key vocabulary at the bottom of the post.
World Cup 2014 Listening Report: Group C
Though not really a Group of Death, Group C is one of the most open of the World Cup. It is difficult to predict as all teams fancy their chances of making it to the knock-out round. I also have a strong interest in this group as I have tickets for the three matches involving the Ivory Coast.
Colombia qualified for their first World Cup since 1998 in second place two points behind CONMEBOL winners Argentina. Many were tipping ‘Los Cafeteros‘ to be one of the dark horses in this year’s tournament but an injury to prolific striker Radamel Falcao has meant that even though there is strength in depth in attack, the Colombian side will miss their talismanic forward. FIFA rank Colombia in 8th position in the world which is remarkable considering their recent poor World Cup qualification record. Though there are question marks over the defence, there is enough strength in depth among the front four to allow manager Jose Pekerman’s side to dream of qualifying for the second round.
This is the third time in succession that the Ivory Coast have qualified for the World Cup and this time there is hope that they can make it to the knock-out stage after two relatively unkind draws in Germany and South Africa. The side can call on established stars in Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba and Gervinho but there are worries about the defence and the fact that this team is an ageing one. They are currently ranked 23rd in the world but despite this relatively low position they can make it to the second round.
The ‘Blue Samurai’ are playing in their fifth consecutive World Cup finals and are ranked 46th by FIFA. They were so close to making it to the quarter-finals in the last World Cup in South Africa only losing out to Paraguay on penalties and this time round they will fancy their chances of again trying to make the last 8. Known for their fluid passing game and speed the Japanese side under Italian coach Zaccheroni will be easy on the eye but whether that will be enough to qualify for the second round remains to be seen. I think they just might scrape though.
Greece managed to qualify for the World Cup despite only scoring 12 goals in 10 games but a comprehensive play-off victory allowed the team ranked in 12th place to qualify for their third finals. In spite of a poor record in their previous appearances – only one victory – everyone knows that the Greek side are hard to beat but, like the other teams in the group, Greece will think they have a chance of making it to the second round. I am not so sure however.
I think this group will be one of the most open in the tournament and I fancy Japan (and along with Colombia) to cause an upset and make it through at the expense of the Ivory Coast.
CONMEBOL: The South American football federation
prolific: A striker who scores a lot of goals; someone who does a lot of something is prolific
talismanic forward: Their leader, the striker that everyone looks up to
the front four: The four forward players
in succession: In a row (2016, 2010 and now 2014)
relatively unkind draws in Germany and South Africa: Ivory Coast had been tipped to do well but faced the Group of Death in the past two World Cups.
call on: Choose or select for the team
relatively: Fairly(compared to previous times)
consecutive: In a row; in succession
fancy their chances: They think they can make it
scrape though: Just about qualify
comprehensive: A clear and easy victory
I fancy (Japan): I am going to choose (Japan)
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