The host nation has been in unstoppable form so far at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011 and will be out to seal first place in Group A when they meet Korea Republic in Bogota in their final group game. Victory will give them a perfect record of nine points out of nine and first place in the section, while the South Koreans, who lie second, are hoping for a ticket to the knockout rounds.
Colombia-Korea Republic, Friday 5 August, Bogota, 20.00 (local time)
With comprehensive wins over France and then Mali, Los Cafeteros have already clinched their place in the next round, but that will not stop them going for a third straight win, this time against the South Koreans. Should they top the group, the hosts will stay in Bogota for the next round, which has proved a happy hunting ground for them so far. With his charges having performed so well to date, coach Eduardo Lara is not expected to make many tactical changes for Friday’s game.
Opponents Korea Republic have played well in spells but only have a victory over Mali to show for their efforts. Coach Lee Kwang-Jong is aware they will have to up their game for what is a decisive clash: “We need to improve if we want to qualify, and though we want to win, we also know that a draw will virtually take us through, which is what we’re fighting for.”
43 - The number of matches Korea Republic will have played in the FIFA U-20 World Cup when they take on Colombia. To date they have won 12, drawn 10 and lost 20 of their matches in the competition.
“We’re not playing the next round yet. We still have one game to go and we want to win the group so we can stay in Bogota. We’ve seen a lot of videos of them and we’ve also analysed the two games they’ve played here. They’re a strong side that works and fights hard for the whole 90 minutes. We’ll need to keep our wits about us,” Colombia coach Eduardo Lara.
“I don’t think Colombia are that strong a footballing team, even though they will be at home. My boys really know how to play as a team, as you’ll see for yourselves. We’re looking to do better than in 2009, and we hope to make the semis,” Korea Republic coach Lee Kwang-Jong, speaking after the Final Draw in April.