James & Cuadrado make the difference for Colombia, says Zuniga

The Napoli defender had nothing but praise for his team-mates in the wake of their win over Cote d'Ivoire, while Victor Ibarbo admitted they had a tough time against the Africans
By Stefan Coerts in Brasilia

Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuniga has underlined the importance of James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado for the South American side in the wake of their hard-fought 2-1 win over Cote d'Iviore on Thursday.

James opened the scoring in Jose Pekerman's side's win with his second goal of the World Cup, while Cuadrado caused his direct opponent all kinds of problems with his pace and trickery

Keep up with all the latest news from Brazil and get involved in the debate on Twitter with our new World Cup Social Hub
Zuniga praised his attacking team-mates and feels both can prove key in Colombia's success in Brazil.

"James is a great player. And Cuadrado is very good as well. We have players who can make the difference. They have already shown that before and did so again versus Cote d'Ivoire," Zuniga told Goal

"In the beginning, it was very hard for us. From the start until the end of the first half we had to make a lot of sacrifices.

"In the second half, we knew that we had to keep going because Ivory Coast are a team with some great attacking players, who are very quick. In the end we played well. We managed to hold on to the ball longer after the break and played with a lot of passion.   

"We still have one more game to go against Japan and cannot afford to get carried away. We hope to get another positive result and seal qualification with three wins. We hope to keep up this form and see how far we can go."

World Cup Infographics
Uncover the statistics behind the World Cup with our new Unibet infographic series
Meanwhile, attacker Victor Ibarbo also acknowledged that Cote d'Ivoire caused Colombia some trouble in the opening 45 minutes, before stressing that they are gunning for victory in their final group game against Japan as well after winning their two opening matches.

"It was a very difficult game. We had to make sacrifices, a lot of sacrifices. It was hard in the first half, but there was a bit more space after the break. Things opened up a bit and we took advantage. It is a very important win for us," Ibarbo said.

"Against Japan, we have to keep going on the same track. Mr Pekerman will have analysed them and have a gameplan. We want to win again."