In 2008 Colombia won the first South American U-17 Women’s Championship to earn a place at the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup that same year in New Zealand. At the finals in Oceania, Las Cafeteras did not survive the group phase after recording one defeat and two draws. Two years later they failed in their attempt to secure one of CONMEBOLS’s three berths at the second edition in Trinidad and Tobago.
At this year’s regional qualifying tournament in Bolivia, Colombia justified their billing as title candidates with wins over Venezuela (2-1), Paraguay (3-0) and Chile (3-0) in the opening round. A heavy defeat to Brazil (5-1) was not enough to deny them a place in the final phase, where subsequent losses to Uruguay (2-1) and A Seleção for a second time (3-1) left them out of the running for the title. Needing to beat Argentina in their final game to secure a berth in Azerbaijan, Las Cafeteras did the job in emphatic style with a 4-0 victory.
“Qualification is a great achievement, and we’re continuing to make history in Colombian women’s football with a group of players from all across the country. I always believed that things would come good. Now we need to prepare for the World Cup with the same dedication and humility with which we approached the Sudamericano,” said coach Felipe Taborda.
Facts and figures
Angie Mina, Juliana Ocampo, Dayana Castillo, Leicy Santos, Gabriela Maldonado
Of seven qualifying games, Colombia won four and lost three, netting 15 goals and conceding 11. Their top scorer was Dayana Castillo with four, followed by Gabriela Maldonado with three.
The numbers game
2 – This will be Colombia’s second participation at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, a feat hitherto achieved by only one other South American team, Brazil. In fact, Azerbaijan 2012 will be A Canarinha’s third appearance in the final phase of this tournament.