Americans eye early progress

The second series of fixtures in Group C will be headlined by the potentially decisive clash between Colombia and USA. Las Cafeteras need a result following their 1-0 defeat by Sweden, while their opponents will be keen for a repeat of their solid opening performance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™, which saw them run out 2-0 winners against Korea DPR.

The game *USA-Colombia, Saturday 2 July 2011, Bochum, 6.00pm (local time)

  • The stakes The Americans certainly did not make the trip to Germany to make up the numbers, and instead have their eyes trained on a first world title in 12 years. After an arduous qualifying campaign, the Stars and Stripes will be eager to secure a place in the next round at the first opportunity, before taking on Sweden in their final group match.

If they wish to remain in the competition, Colombia will surely have to take the game to their more experienced opponents, whose squad’s average age is close to 28, the highest in the tournament. Conversely, the South Americans can boast the youngest group of players after the North Koreans, their next opponents. Yoreli Rincon and her team-mates will hope to effectively channel their youthful exuberance as they go in search of a meaningful result.

The stat 0 - The number of times that USA and Colombia have met on the international stage. United States have previously faced just two South American teams; Brazil, on 27 occasions, and Argentina, twice.

The words “It’ll be a tricky match, but anything is possible. Our objective remains qualifying for the next round. We’ve carefully analysed the Americans’ style of play, and we're obviously not going to be able to match them physically. Therefore we’ll have to play intelligently, keeping the ball on the deck and letting our skills do the talking,” Ricardo Rozo, Colombia coach.

“We’re quite curious to play the Colombians for the first time – they have a number of talented young players. It’s a pretty tough group with three totally different styles of play on show. But we’ve got a lot of experience, and we’re going to try and secure our ticket for the next round as soon as possible,” Christie Rampone, USA captain.* *