Colombia will use its status as the last nation of the Americas at the Women’s World Cup as motivation to beat England in Saturday’s quarter-final, coach Nelson Abadia said.
All other teams from Latin America, as well as the United States, and Canada, were eliminated by the round-of-16, leaving 25th-ranked Colombia - an unlikely survivor amongst the European and Asian powers in the last eight.
“To be representing the whole of the Americas at the moment is important,” Abadia told reporters on Friday.
“Because of everything that happens around this national team - to have all this positive energy not only from Colombia but from the whole continent - is beneficial.”
Colombia heads into its first World Cup quarterfinal at Sydney’s Stadium Australia as the underdog against England, but the South Americans have already proved themselves against quality European opposition in their 2-1 upset of Germany in the group stage.
Forward Mayra Ramirez said European champion England was the favourite, but it was “11 against 11” on the field.
“Colombia has shown that we have talent and that we have sacrificed on the pitch. We hope for a positive result,” she added.
Colombia was asked about England switching formation to three at the back after losing Keira Walsh to injury against Denmark.
Jess Carter and Alex Greenwood were on either side of Millie Bright for England’s 6-1 win over China and the round-of-16 victory on penalties against Nigeria.
Ramirez said the formation was no novelty for Colombia’s players, with some familiar with it from playing club football in Spain.
“It’s going to be difficult for us, but we know how to attack them,” she said.
“We can do a little bit of damage, and this is what we’re going to be trying to do during the match.”
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