Colom­bia eye ‘beau­ti­ful game’ with Brazil

Taranaki Daily News - - Sport -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.