By Ryan Mayer–
(CBS Local) The USA advanced out of the group of death at the Women’s World Cup unscathed and now have what looks to be one of the easier paths ahead to advance to the semifinal. Their first test of the knockout stages will be the round of 16 against Colombia, which placed second in its group and had the highlight of the tournament so far with a 2-0 win over France in the group stages.
The matchup takes place Monday at 7 p.m. CT. Here’s what you need to know.
There’s some history of bad blood between these two teams. Back in the 2012 Olympic Games, in a 3-0 USA win, Colombia striker Lady Andrade punched Abby Wambach in the eye and received a two-match suspension. Combined with our next category, it’s safe to say that there will be plenty of intensity in this matchup.
Colombia trash talk
You may have missed it over the weekend while watching the U.S. Open, but Andrade had some pretty strong words about the U.S. in advance of the contest.
Via USA Today:
“(The Americans) belittle us. They think we’re a team they’re going to walk all over and it will be an easy game for them … We’re going to beat them since they like to talk so much.”
She wasn’t the only Colombian player who got involved in the trash talk, with midfielder Yoreli Rincon echoing Andrade’s sentiments to NBC Sports.
“They defeated us 3-0, however, they said all sort of things because one of their players unfortunately got smacked. But that happens in many matches. It always happens, there is a foul and a player is awarded a card following that episode. And because of something that happened three years ago, they’ve said things that have not been taken by us in the best way.”
For their part, the Americans have said all the right things in response. However, that’s what they have to say in public as the favorite. Anybody that’s an athlete knows that you’ll use any perceived slight to give you more of an edge.
Matchup to watch
The two players who have done the talking for the Colombian side will have an opportunity to get after the U.S. back line in this match, if previous matches are any indication. Rincon in the midfield orchestrating and Andrade up top will go against an American back four that has been the best unit on the team in the last two times out against Sweden and Nigeria. Andrade has two of Colombia’s four goals in the tournament, and she times runs very well.
Check out her goal in the France game.
The U.S. will have to continue its solid communication and play in front of Hope Solo or these two will make them pay.
Colombia has never beaten the U.S.
Granted, the Americans and Colombians have only met twice in international play prior to this game. The first time was in the group stages of the 2011 World Cup, when the U.S. won 3-0. The two sides met again (as previously mentioned) in the 2012 London Olympics, where the U.S. also won 3-0.
The Colombians have recorded the most yellow cards in the tournament with eight (tied with the Ivory Coast). They’ve already conceded a penalty based on one of those fouls. They’re a team that has a physical style to them, one that the U.S. certainly can match, but it’s also a style that can lead to plenty of set piece opportunities, which is where the Americans are at their most dangerous.