Colombia eye ‘beautiful game’ with Brazil
Colombia are relishing the prospect of meeting Brazil in a World Cup quarterfinal between two countries that share a history of playing the game beautifully, coach Jose Pekerman says. ‘‘It should be a great game. ‘‘Unfortunately, it’s a meeting that will leave one of two very good teams out,’’ the Colombian coach said after his stylish side moved into the last eight of the tournament by beating Uruguay 2-0 yesterday. ‘‘Clearly they are two countries that like to play football in their own way.
‘‘Two national teams that want to have the ball and use it well,’’ Pekerman said. ‘‘That’s their shared history.’’
Colombia, playing their first World Cup in 16 years, have impressed crowds in Brazil and TV audiences around the world by winning all four games so far and scoring 11 goals in the process.
Yesterday, the Brazilians in the crowd at the Maracana cheered them on as James Rodriguez, the revelation of the tournament to date, scored a goal of individual brilliance and then rounded off a perfect team move to seal the win.
Rodriguez, 22, is now the top scorer in the competition with five goals, ahead of superstars Neymar of Brazil and Argentina’s Lionel Messi who have four each.
The midfielder, who plays for Monaco in the French league, said Colombia would not be overawed when they met their illustrious hosts in Fortaleza on July 4. ‘‘There is no pressure,’’ he said. ‘‘Obviously we have to be careful. They have great players but so do we . . . and we can make things dangerous for them.
‘‘It’s going to be a beautiful game and a beautiful one to play in. This is a group of players that wants to make history.’’ Reuters