Saturday, October 12, 2013

Epic Colombian qualification

A tie at home against Chile was enough for Colombia to qualify for their first World Cup since 1998. So there was a festive mood in Barranquilla, where Colombia has been awesome during this qualification campaign, and perhaps it was some of the reason that the Colombian team seemed to forget that they had to play the match before celebrating. Withing 30 minutes they were 0-3 down against an efficient Chilean side that seems likely to make it to Brazil.
Barranquilla was quiet, but Pekerman, the Argentinean coach of Colombia, must have spoken harsh to his players at half-time, as they came out with renewed attitude and attacking prowess. It took a harsh red card to Chile's Carlos Carmona, a strike by Teofilo Gutierrez and two penalty goals by Radamel Falcao to seal an epic comeback and a deserved spot in Brazil 2014.
That said, Colombia will suffer from the enormous pressure by the hugely expectant and critical Colombian fans, who can be as passionately unforgiven and cruel to their players as they can support them with emotion when they win. Few teams in the world face the kind of pressure Colombian players face, and this will probably be their downfall in Brazil next year, in spite of me hoping the opposite.
At least this time they will be able to blame it all on an Argentinean coach.

In spite of it all, Colombia's star players and excellent style of play are one of the teams that simply belong in Brazil next year, as the World Cup would not be the same without Colombia.

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