Colombia captain Catalina Usme is “dreaming big” and coach Nelson Abadia wants to “make history” as the last team standing from the Americas plots the downfall of England in the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals.
The 25th-ranked South Americans have never made the last eight before but they are brimming with confidence after grinding down Jamaica 1-0 on Tuesday thanks to a goal from their skipper.
They will now play England in Sydney on Saturday and are fearless, having beaten world number two Germany in the group stage.
“Because of their football and their history we need to be careful, we need to be cautious,” Abadia said of Sarina Wiegman’s strongly fancied England.
“But in football we have already seen that the gaps between teams have been closing down and Colombia have proven to be a solid team.
“Of course, England are one of the favourites, that goes without saying — they are the European champions.
“But we also faced Germany, who were second favourites. We were wise enough and had the composure.”
Colombia’s intense, attacking mindset has served them well so far, with their teenage striker Linda Caicedo one of the stars of the tournament.
But Usme is the glue that keeps them together and she said they were in no mood to stop now.
“We want more,” she said, having scored the goal to take Colombia into the last eight.
“It’s not our ceiling, now we are thinking about England, which is going to be a dream match.
“We need to be calm, play an intelligent match, but with the certainty that we can achieve more in this World Cup.
“We are dreaming big — we can do this,” she added.
Abadia has been in charge since 2017 and after failing to qualify for the last tournament in France, has nurtured the likes of Caicedo into the players they are today.
The 67-year-old has made no secret of their intention to at least reach the final and match the feat of Brazil in 2007, when they were runners-up to Germany.
No South American team has won the Women’s World Cup.
“When we qualified for the World Cup the first thing I said to my team is that we are not here just to spend some time — we want to make history and it is better to make history than to tell history,” he said.
“We have consolidated a very strong group, both for the technical staff and for the players.
“We brought the 23 best players from our country and we know how mature, how good they are.”
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