Not short of options

“We’ll wait for Falcao until the last day, the last minute. We have a lot of people to make the final decision. We’ll find the most logical reasons with the player and doctors,” said Jose Pekerman, Colombia’s Argentine coach, when asked about the status of pointman Radamel Falcao who had a surgery to set right his torn ACL.

Unfortunately, the Monaco-based striker failed to make it to the squad but Pekerman and Colombia aren’t short of options. It is no accident that the South Americans are World No. 5 in FIFA’s official rankings. A second place finish in the South American zone qualifying also suggests a certain technical and creative nous in the team that should serve it well in Brazil.

And leading the charge will be the trio of Jackson Martinez, fresh off a great year with Porto in the Portuguese league, James Rodriguez, and Carlos Bacca, who is on a high following his Europa League Cup win with Sevilla.

With captain Mario Yepes and AC Milan’s Cristian Zapata in the defence, expect the Tricolor to maintain their miserly ways — they conceded only 13 goals in qualifying — in Brazil.

While Greece and Japan are certainly no pushovers, it is the Ivorians who will most likely give the South Americans their sternest test. The outcome of their match could well decide the group placings, with the top two then faced with the unpleasant prospect of meeting either Italy, England or Uruguay in the next round.

So, can Colombia pull it off?