Although a relative newcomer to women’s international football, Colombia have enjoyed considerable success thus far, especially at regional level. Las Cafeteras won the South U-17 American Championship in 2008 and were runners-up in both the U-20 and senior equivalents in 2010. Fourth place at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Germany 2010 and qualification for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™ remain the proudest achievements to date for Colombia, who will be making their Olympic Football Tournament debut in London.
The sixth edition of South American Women’s Championship in November 2010 represented a high-water mark for Colombian women’s football. Under Ricardo Rozo, the team secured the runners-up spot and qualified for both their first senior FIFA World Cup and Olympic Football Tournament. And while their results at Germany 2011 were modest – they managed a solitary point in the group stage with a draw against Korea DPR – the team showed a great attitude and some fine football in spite of their youth and inexperience. However, their inability to score in Germany ultimately proved their undoing, although their cause was not helped by being drawn in the same group as USA and Sweden, subsequent winners of the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Since reaching the semi-finals of the 2011 Pan American Games, Colombia have endured a long spell without international action, with the majority of the squad members having to prepare individually or during national team training sessions. “It’s not easy but I believe the 2011 World Cup and the Pan American games were magnificent opportunities for our younger players to mature,” said coach Ricardo Rozo, who has enjoyed impressive results since taking charge of the women’s national teams in 2010. "We’re an ambitious side. When we go to a tournament, it’s to win it," he stated.
Facts and figures
Natalia Gaitan, Nataly Arias, Lady Andrade, Yoreli Rincon
At the 2010 South American Women’s Championship, only Brazil finished ahead of Colombia. Las Cafeteras finished second in the four-team final group after beating Argentina (1-0), drawing with Chile (1-1) and losing to the eventual champions (5-0). In the first qualifying round, in which they also finished runners-up to Brazil, Rozo’s side posted victories over Group B opponents Paraguay (3-0), Venezuela (5-0) and Uruguay (8-0), before going down 2-1 to A Seleçao.
The numbers game
4 - To date Colombia’s finest achievement has been their fourth-place finish at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Germany 2010. The core of that team will also be in the squad that travels to London.