Olympics: Preview Notes – Colombia (Group G)

UNPREPARED FOR THE ONSLAUGHT? — After the last Women’s World Cup, Colombia participated in the 2011 Pan-American Games in Mexico, which were held in November. After that, Colombia’s next camp was not held until May, and their first international friendlies were played in July.

  • How They Qualified: Top 2 finish in CONMEBOL’s 2010 Campeonato Sudamericano Femenino (runners-up)
  • FIFA Rank: #28
  • Previous Olympics: n/a
  • 2011 WWC Performance: Group Stage
  • Key Players: Yoreli Rincon (midfielder), Catalina Usme (forward)
  • Head Coach: Ricardo Rozo (Colombia)
  • Team Captain: Natalia Gaitán
  • Recent Form: L, L, L
  • Group Finish Probabilities: 1st, 5%; 2nd, 10%; 3rd, 22%; 4th, 63%
  • Medal Chances: Slim

RECENT MATCHES — Colombia lost all three of its tune-ups: a 0:1 loss to Canada, a 1:2 loss to Brazil (in which Colombia equalized), and a 1:2 loss to New Zealand.

GROUP CHANCES — As in the 2011 Women’s World Cup, Colombia finds itself in a tough group, paired once again with the United States, North Korea, and a strong European team, but instead of Sweden, that team is France. Colombia opens against North Korea in what will be a must win for Colombia to have any reasonable chance of making the quarterfinals. But, North Korea seems to have too much skill and organization to allow Colombia to get the upset win. After that, Colombia will need to take points from one or both of its final two group opponents, the United States and France, if it wants to turn a reasonable chance into a solid chance. And, that does not seem too likely.

INJURIES — Playmaker Yoreli Rincon is coming back from a slightly fractured little toe on her left foot. Her first match post-injury was against New Zealand on July 17th.

PROBABLE STARTERS — Colombia has only played three tune-up friendlies, with only two of the line-ups being officially reported by ColFutbol.org.

Line-up from the last friendly, versus New Zealand (4-4-2):

Castaño (GK)
T. Ariza (FB) — Arias (CB) — Gaitán (CB) — N. Ariza (FB)
Y. Domínguez (WM) — D. Montoya (HM) — Rincón (AM) — A.M. Montoya (WM)
Vidal (FW) – Ortiz (FW)

At last year’s WWC, Colombia’s centerback pair was captain Natalia Gaitán and Kelis Peduzine. Peduzine did not start against Canada on July 9th, so the central defense does not seem settled. Also, the team’s leading goal-scorer, forward Catalina Usme, if healthy, should get a start, probably ahead of the internationally green Melissa Ortiz.

Previously uncapped goalkeeper Stefany Castaño appears to have won the starting spot from 2011 WWC ‘keeper Sandra Sepúlveda, who earned good marks from that tournament’s Technical Study Group.

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See Also:

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