Colombia face Gonzalez threat again
© AFP

Hosts Colombia will come up against an old foe when they take on Costa Rica in the Round of 16 of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011. Tico coach Ronald Gonzalez was the man who scored the goal that downed Los Cafeteros in the group phase of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Saudi Arabia 1989, and will be hoping to inspire a repeat performance from the dugout on Tuesday.

The game
Colombia-Costa Rica, Tuesday 9 August, Bogota, 20.00 (local time)

The stakes
Colombia have been in mightily impressive form in front of their own fans so far, winning all three of their games in Group A while scoring seven goals and conceding just the one. Eduardo Lara’s side return to their El Campin stronghold in Bogota against Los Ticos, confident of taking another step forward in what would be Colombia’s first world title of any description. Although Lara is not expected to make any changes to a settled line-up, he may well be asking five of his players to watch their step, with Pedro Franco, James Rodriguez, Juan Cabezas, Jeison Murillo and Santiago Arias all on yellow cards and just another one away from missing a potential quarter-final.

The Central Americans were far less impressive in winning through to this stage, finishing third in Group C after winning one and losing two of their games, and they will be without the suspended Yeltsin Tejeda for this game. Coach Ronald Gonzalez knows what it takes to beat Colombia, however, having scored the goal that gave Los Ticos a first-round victory over a Cafetero team containing Oscar Cordoba, Jorge Bermudez and Ivan Valenciano at the FIFA U-20 World Cup some 22 years ago.

The stat
2 -
The number of goals Costa Rica scored in eliminating host nation Egypt at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2009, a win masterminded by current coach Gonzalez, who will have a similar outcome in mind against the Colombians.

The words
“You can’t afford to make the slightest mistake from this round on. We’re starting to feel the physical effects now but I can’t ask any more of these boys. Playing in Bogota suits us because we can feel the support of the whole of Colombia there, which makes us stronger. We’re on the right track,” Colombia coach Eduardo Lara.

“Losing to Ecuador was a very bitter pill to swallow, though I’m glad we’ve been given another opportunity to step things up a level. I don’t mind the fact that it’s against Colombia in their backyard, because we’re going to give the best possible account of ourselves,” Costa Rica coach Ronald Gonzalez.