Colombia just made it into the tournament, with James Rodriguez providing the spark.

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Colombia World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide

Colombiahave been eliminated from the 2018 World Cup.


Colombia vs England – Round of 16 (19.00), Moscow Spartak

Match preview here. 

Colombia Starting XI: 1 David Ospina, 4 Santiago Arias (2 Cristian Zapata 116), 5 Wilmar Barrios, 6 Carlos Sanchez (15 Mateus Uribe 79), 9 Radamel Falcao, 11 Juan Cuadrado, 13 Yerry Mina, 16 Jefferson Lerma (7 Carlos Bacca 62), 17 Johan Mojica, 20 Juan Quintero (14 Luis Muriel 88), 23 Davinson Sanchez

England Starting XI: 1 Jordan Pickford, 2 Kyle Walker (19 Marcus Rashford 113), 5 John Stones, 6 Harry Maguire, 7 Jesse Lingard, 8 Jordan Henderson, 9 Harry Kane, 10 Raheem Sterling (11 Jamie Vardy 88), 12 Kieran Trippier, 18 Ashley Young (3 Danny Rose 102), 20 Dele Alli (4 Eric Dier 81)

Moscow Spartak

Colombia 1 England 1

England 4-3 on pens

Scorers

England: Kane 57pen

Colombia: Mina 90+3

Match overview

England reached the quarter-finals after winning a World Cup penalty shoot-out for the time time. It was a deserved victory for Gareth Southgate’s young side, who came up against a Colombia team that, without the injured James Rodriguez, set out to frustrate and provoke.

Colombia offered very little attacking threat but claimed an unexpected stoppage-time equaliser through Yerry Mina that cancelled out Harry Kane’s second-half spot-kick.

England made a bright start but despite a succession of early set-pieces could not find a way through until Kane was bundled over at a corner and given the chance to score his third penalty of the tournament.

But just as it seemed England had ridden the storm, the setpiece specialists were undone by Mina’s header from a corner. Colombia’s subs meant they went into the extra period with a much more attacking outlook, but it was England, with chances for Danny Rose and Eric Dier, who went closest to avoiding the shoot-out.

A familar scenario for England but an unexpected outcome as Dier held his nerve after misses by Jordan Henderson, Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca, striking the decisive penalty to send the Colombians out. 

Matter of fact

Harry Kane became the first player to score in six consecutive England appearances since Tommy Lawton in 1939.

Talking point

American referee Mark Geiger appeared to be in danger of losing control of the game after he showed Wilmar Barrios a yellow not red card following a headbutt on Jordan Henderson. And he struggled to control Colombian protests after awarding England the second-half penalty.

Stats

Colombia/England

Possession (%): 48/52

Goal attempts: 14/6

Attempts on target: 7/9

Corners: 3/7

Fouls: 23/13

Pass accuracy (%): 78/82

Distance covered (km): 136/143


Colombia vs Senegal (28th June) Match Report

Match preview here.

Colombia Starting XI: 1 David Ospina, 4 Santiago Arias, 6 Carlos Sanchez, 9 Radamel Falcao (Miguel Borja 89), 10 James Rodriguez (14 Luis Muriel 31), 11 Juan Cuadrado, 13 Yerry Mina, 15 Mateus Uribe (15 Jefferson Lerma 83), 17 Johan Mojica, 20 Juan Quintero, 23 Davinson Sanchez

 Senegal Starting XI: 16 Khadim N’Diaye, 3 Kalidou Koulibaly, 5 Idrissa Gueye, 6 Salif Sane, 8 Cheikh Kouyate, 10 Sadio Mane, 12 Youssouf Sabaly (22 Moussa Wague 74), 18 Ismaila Sarr, 19 M’Baye Niang (15 Diafra Sakho 86), 20 Keita Balde (14 Moussa Kounate 80), 21 Lamine Gassama

Samara

Senegal 0 Colombia 1

Scorers

Senegal: none

Colombia: Mina 74

Match overview

Colombia qualified for the last 16 as group winner after Yerry Mina’s headed goal was enough to beat Senegal, who became the first team in World Cup history to be knocked out on fairplay rules.

Senegal were desperately unlucky to exit. Level with Japan on points, goal difference and goals scored, their higher yellow card count cost them dearly.

They were the brighter team against Colombia, though they rightly had a penalty appeal rejected by VAR after Davinson Sanchez’s challenge on Sadio Mane.

Colombia, with Radamel Falcao isolated and unfit James Rodriguez taken off after half an hour, struggled to get a foothold in the game. Their goal, from a corner, was their only attempt on target in the game.

Matter of fact

Colombia did not have a single touch in the opposition area during the first half.

Talking point

Senegal were trying to make a substitution as the corner was taken for Colombia’s goal. Moussa Wague replaced Youssouf Sabaly but did not make it to the penalty area in time to join the defence.

Stats

Senegal/Colombia

Possession (%): 43/57

Goal attempts: 8/4

Attempts on target: 4/1

Corners: 1/3

Fouls: 15/15

Pass accuracy (%): 78/83

Distance covered (km): 97/100


Colombia vs Poland (24th June) Match Report

Match preview here.

Colombia Starting XI: 1 David Ospina, 4 Santiago Arias, 5 Wilmar Barrios, 8 Abel Aguilar (15 Mateus Uribe 32), 9 Radamel Falcao (7 Carlos Bacca 78), 10 James Rodriguez, 11 Juan Cuadrado, 13 Yerry Mina, 17 Johan Mojica, 20 Juan Quintero (16 Jefferson Lerma 73), 23 Davinson Sanchez

Poland Starting XI: 1 Wojciech Szczesny, 2 Michal Pazdan (15 Kamil Glik 80), 5 Jan Bednarek, 6 Jacek Goralski, 9 Robert Lewandowski, 10 Grzegorz Krychowiak, 13 Maciej Rybus, 18 Bartosz Bereszynski (14 Lukaczs Teodorczyk 72), 19 Piotr Zielinski, 20 Lukasz Piszczek, 23 Dawid Kownacki (11 Kamil Grosicki 57)

Kazan

Poland 0 Colombia 3

Scorers

Poland: none

Colombia: Mina 40, Falcao 70, Cuadrado 75

Match overview

Colombia refound their attacking mojo to send Poland crashing out of the tournament. James Rodriguez, returning to the starting line-up after injury limited his role in the opening-game defeat to Japan, set up Colombia’s first and third goals. Poland were cut apart on a number of occasions while talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski failed to provide the leadership they needed.

Matter of fact

Radamel Falcao scored his first World Cup goal at the age of 32.

Talking point

Both teams made four changes to their starting line-ups. While Colombia coach Jose Pekerman found space to deploy two playmakers in James Rodroguez and Juan Quintero, Poland’s Adam Nawalka’s changes – a switch to a back three – merely confused his players.

Stats

Poland/Colombia

Possession (%): 45/55

Goal attempts: 9/13

Attempts on target: 3/5

Corners: 7/5

Fouls: 15/10

Pass accuracy (%): 79/82

Distance covered (km): 107/108


Colombia vs Japan (19th June) Match Report

Colombia are an unknown going into the 2018 World Cup but we fancy them to beat Japan. Match preview here. 

Colombia Starting XI: 1 David Ospina, 3 Oscar Murillo, 4 Santiago Arias, 6 Carlos Sanchez, 9 Radamel Falcao, 11 Juan Cuadrado (5 Wilmar Barrios 31), 16 Jefferson Lerma, 17 Johan Mojica, 20 Juan Quintero (10 James Rodriguez 59), 21 Jose Izquierdo (7 Carlos Bacca 70), 23 Davinson Sanchez

Japan Starting XI: 1 Eiji Kawashima, 3 Gen Shoji, 5 Yuto Nagatomo, 7 Gaku Shibasaki (16 Hotaru Yamaguchi 80), 8 Genki Haraguchi, 10 Shinji Kagawa (4 Keisuke Honda 70), 14 Takeshi Inui, 15 Yuya Osako (9 Shinji Okazaki 85), 17 Makoto Hasebe, 19 Hiroki Sakai, 22 Maya Yoshida

Saransk

Colombia 1 Japan 2

Scorers: 

Colombia: Quintero

Japan: Kagawa, Osako

Match overview

Japan won their first World Cup match on European soil and also became the first Asian country to beat a South American nation after Yuya Osako’s second-half header gave them victory over a Colombia side that played the bulk of the game with 10 men following the early expulsion of Carlos Sanchez.

The first red card of the tournament gave Japan the chance to control game after Kagawa converted the penalty. But Colombia were the better side for the first half and equalised through Juan Quintero’s clever free-kick.

Japan made their numerical advantage count after the break when the impressive Takeshi Inui went close and from the resulting corner, Osako headed the winner.

Key moment

The 3rd-minute sending-off of Carlos Sanchez, who raised his arm to block Kagawa’s follow-up shot after David Ospina had saved the original shot from Yuya Osako. The confusion in the Colombian defence had stemmed from Davidson Sanchez’s failure to clear a routine bouncing ball.

Yuya Osako scored the winner for Japan to secure a 2-1 win. (Getty Images)

Matter of fact

Juan Quintero became the first player to score in two different World Cup finals for Colombia.

Talking point

James Rodriguez, Colombia’s outstanding player at the 2014 finals, was left out of the starting line-up after failing to fully recover from a hamstring injury. Coach Jose Pekerman preferred to start with Juan Quintero, who scored Colombia’s equalising goal. Instead of playing for the point, Pekerman made positive second-half substitutions, introducing a second forward, Carlos Bacca, and bringing on Rodriguez for Quintero for the final half-hour 

Stats

Colombia/Japan

Possession (%): 42/58

Goal attempts: 8/14

Attempts on target: 1/5

Corners: 3/6

Fouls: 15/9

Pass accuracy (%): 79/85

Distance covered (km): 93/101


Colombia World Cup Guide

Since making their World Cup quarter-finals debut in 2014, Colombia have been consistently disappointing, and their qualification campaign for Russia was a laboured, uninspired affair with few high points from a group of players who would seem to be capable of better.

Key Moments in Qualifying

Nov 2015
Abandoning midfield elaboration for a more direct game plan by playing straight up to the front three, a 1-1 draw in Chile sees the hosts drop points for the first time.
Mar 2016
After taking just four points from their first four games, Colombia let slip a two-goal lead before finding a late winner to triumph 3-2 away to Bolivia – a notoriously difficult fixture in which Uruguay were the only other team to have left with all three points.
Nov 2016
With seven changes to the side, Colombia suffer a huge blow to their confidence with a 3-0 thrashing in Argentina.
Oct 2017
Two late Paraguay goals in a 2-1 defeat almost derail Colombia’s qualification hopes, but they salvage things with a 1-1 draw in Peru five days later.

Colombia World Cup Group

Colombia are in Group H alongside Poland, Senegal, and Japan.

Colombia World Cup Friendlies

On the 23rd of March Colombia came back from 2-0 to win 3-2 against France. Four days later they drew 0-0 to Australia and that was their final World Cup warm-up game.

  • 23rd March – France (won 3-2)
  • 27th March – Australia (drew 0-0)
  • 1st June – Egypt (drew 0-0)

Colombia World Cup Fixtures

Colombia play against Japan on the 19th of June, followed by a potentially pivotal match against Poland. Finally Senegal are on the 28th.

The Coach

Jose Pekerman, age 68 (03.09.49)
Appointed at the start of 2012, he made his name as a highly successful coach of the national under-20s in his native Argentina at the turn of the century, and then took the senior side to the 2006 World Cup.

Success: Pekerman was an immensely successful under-20’s coach (Getty Images)

The Players
Stars
The big star of 2014, James Rodriguez has had an uneasy time at club level since his golden tournament, but he clearly relishes being important to the national team and was the team’s top scorer in qualifying.
Stalwarts
Defensive midfielder Carlos Sanchez is a man-marking specialist whose positional sense and timing in the tackle balance out the side.
Debuts
Gifted but wayward attacking midfielder Edwin Cardona was the most important member of the post-2014 intake, alongside Yerry Mina, the giant centre-half who came into the team for the second half of the campaign and adds pace on the ground to an aerial dominance.

Colombia World Cup Squad

Final 23-man squad – 

GOALKEEPERS: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (Once Caldas).

DEFENDERS: Cristian Zapata (Milan), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Oscar Murillo (Pachuca), Frank Fabra (Boca Juniors), Johan Mojica (Girona), Yerry Mina (Barcelona).

MIDFIELDERS: Wílmar Barrios (Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (Espanyol), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Abel Aguilar (Deportivo Cali), Mateus Uribe (America), Juan Fernando Quintero (River Plate), Juan Cuadrado (Juventus).

FORWARDS: Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Miguel Borja (Palmeiras), Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Luis Fernando Muriel (Sevilla).

Colombia World Cup Injuries

We will update you with all the injuries here.

Spark: Rodriguez had a stellar tournament in 2014, can he do the same in Russia? (Getty Images)

The Unanswered Questions

Can they trust David Ospina?
With the exception of a meaningless Copa Centenario group game, it is more than six years since anyone but Ospina has started a competitive match in goal for Colombia. But inactivity at Arsenal may have taken its toll and he ended the campaign in calamitous fashion. Two candidates to replace him were blooded in November, so will he still get the nod?

Usage: Pekerman has not really worked out how to use Falcao properly yet (Getty Images)

How will Radamel Falcao be used?
Pekerman has rarely trusted Falcao to play up front on his own, with Duvan Zapata playing alongside him in the final qualifier. If they are to play two up front, a creative midfielder will be sacrificed.

Will past experience help them?
Several of the squad played their way through to the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, the 2015 Copa America quarter-finals and the 2016 Copa Centenario semi-finals. Experience might just help them hang in there and grind out results.

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