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Colombia’s Caicedo ‘100 percent’ after World Cup health scares

Linda Caicedo underwent X-rays after health scares at the Women’s World Cup but is “100 percent” fit for Colombia’s clash with Morocco on Thursday, coach Nelson Abadia said.

The 18-year-old Real Madrid attacker, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 15 but made a full recovery, has lit up the World Cup with goals in wins against South Korea and Germany.  

In the upset over two-times champions Germany Caicedo scored one of the goals of the tournament, days after going down in training clutching her chest.

She also appeared to suffer breathing difficulties in that 2-1 win — which took Colombia to the brink of the last 16 — but carried on playing.

Abadia said X-rays on Caicedo had not detected any issues.  

“She went through a check-up… to be sure that she is at 100 percent. You can be assured that she is at 100 percent,” Abadia told reporters in Perth on Wednesday.  

“She’s here training with us. She was not feeling well in one of our training sessions but it was brief.  

“We are always careful with players’ health. We want to make sure that Linda feels that she’s okay… and she is.” 

It might prove tempting to rest Caicedo against Morocco.

Colombia only need a draw to top the group and even a defeat might see them through, depending on what happens in the other group game between South Korea and Germany.

“We are not forced to win, but we would like to win,” said Abadia. “When you go for a draw then you might actually lose. 

“Every single match is a news story (in Colombia). Expectation is huge.”

Colombia will face a desperate Morocco who kept their dreams alive after they beat South Korea 1-0 for their first World Cup win. 

Morocco are level with Germany on three points in Group H but have a substantially worse goal difference after a 6-0 drubbing to the Germans.

“We want to be victorious and we hope after we win to be a little bit lucky (with Germany’s result) to qualify,” coach Reynald Pedros said. 

“We will need to be decisive, efficient and aggressive in our game.”

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