Colombia made their debut at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament at London 2012, when drawn in a fiercely tough Group G against holders and eventual champions USA, France (who finished fourth) and Korea DPR. And though conceding just six times in three games, despite being up against some of the sport’s most prolific attackers, Las Chicas Superpoderosas were unable to avoid three defeats and last place in the section.
The road to Rio
Las Cafeteras booked their place at the next edition after finishing second behind Brazil at the 2014 Copa America Femenina in Ecuador. Victors of Group A with four wins from four games and just one goal conceded, against Venezuela, Colombia went on to take second spot in the four-team final round thanks to a win over Ecuador and draws with Argentina and Brazil. The generation that should take the stage in Rio in 2016 will be a more mature and experienced version of the Chicas Superpoderosas crop that burst onto the global scene with a fourth-place finish at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Germany 2010 and impressed at the senior showpiece at Germany 2011.
Holder of a degree in Physical Education, Fabian Felipe Taborda was brought in by the Colombian Football Association in February 2012 to take charge of the women’s U-17 squad – who he guided to qualification for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cups at Azerbaijan 2012 and Costa Rica 2014. Promoted to senior team coach in July 2014, just a couple of months prior to the Copa America Femenina, his steady hand took Las Cafeteras to the only available qualifying spot for Rio de Janeiro 2016, as well as a place at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™.
Facts and figures
- Key players: Yoreli Rincon, Natalia Gaitan, Sandra Sepulveda
- The stat: 0 – the number of games Colombia lost at the Copa America Femenina, while the team also conceded just twice in seven matches.