Colombia are treading new ground with a first-ever place in the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and are putting everything into their preparations for Saturday’s clash with fellow last-eight debutants Sweden in Bielefeld.
And as FIFA.com reveals, it is a game that Cafetera playmaker Yorely Rincon is looking forward to immensely.
"We’ve been playing together for nearly four years now," explains the girl who makes the South Americans tick. “From preparing for the U-17 World Cup in 2008 to winning the South American championship and reaching Germany 2010, we have been through a lot. There are 18 of us who have been together since the continental finals in Chile and we’re like a family now.
"The U-17 tournament was our first step in international football," continues Rincon, Colombia’s captain at New Zealand 2008. "We’d never played at that level before but we’ve got more experience now. We’ve trained hard for this tournament and now we know how to face the challenges posed by our opponents."
Eyes on the prize
As Rincon goes on to explain, having celebrated the win over Costa Rica that took them into the last eight, Ricardo Rozo’s team have spent the last couple of days focusing on their meeting with the Swedes.
"We’ve been preparing hard for this game. We’ve improved the physical side of our game and we’ve been analysing how Sweden play. They’re a team that like to keep the ball on the ground. We need to work on the mistakes we made against Germany in the air but we’ve looked closely at our rivals and we know who we need to mark and who we need to worry about. We’ve had a few problems with our finishing but as we’ve already shown, we have a lot of players who can get forward."
Proof of that is the fact that Colombia’s five goals to date have been scored by four players, Daniela Montoya getting two of them and the rest coming from Lady Andrade, Melissa Ortiz and Rincon herself.
"The third goal against Costa Rica was the one that took us through," adds the smiling No10. "I was so happy. It was important for the team and it was my first World Cup goal. I was thrilled, absolutely thrilled.
"This qualification for the quarter-finals is reward for all our hard work, and this is the most important game of our careers. We were full of confidence when we arrived in Germany and now we’re aiming to go far."