The tantalising all-South American quarter-final tie at the FIFA World Cup™ 2014 between the host nation Brazil and Colombia at Castelao on Friday is one to watch. These two teams have never faced each other at a World Cup and odds are stacked heavily in favour of the Brazillians who lead the head to head 15-2 but the Colombians have showed that they can play with the big boys in this tournament.
Both teams topped their groups at the end of the first round and advanced to the quarters but had indifferent routes. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s troops got of to a slow start scoring an own goal in their opening game against Croatia but recovered eventually winning the match 3-1. They didn’t quite hit their straps against Mexico either playing to a goalless draw and won their remaining fixture against Cameroon comfortably to advanced to the knock out stage. Jose Pekerman’s men on the other hand took maximum points from all three of their games comfortably beat Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan.
In the knockout stage the Selecao faced Chile who looked the far better team for most of the match and proved a tough opponent taking the match all the way to penalties, which went the way of the host nation as they went on to win it 3-2. Los Cafeteros stunned one of the tournament big boys Uruguay 2-0 as one of the World Cup revelations James Rodriguez netted two goals to see them into their first ever quarter-final at a World Cup.
One thing both teams have in common is that they have serious talent in front of goal in Rodriguez and Neymar, the top and joint-second top goal scorers in Brazil scoring five and four goals respectively so far but those aren’t the only men who have or can hit the back of the net. The two teams however differ in their disciplinary record leading up to the quarter-finals with the Brazillians in the lead with eight players receiving yellow cards in the previous rounds including Luiz Gustavo who received a second in the tournament, which means he will miss this match against Colombia. The Colombians have just three cautions in Pablo Armero, Fredy Guarin and Carlos Sanchez.
This has set itself up to be a really good tie between a giant in world football with the weight of a nation on its shoulders and one of the success stories of this World Cup who are aiming to continue to make history.