Wheels and Goals

News, updates, features and opinions on football and motor sport

World Cup 2014 – Round of 16: Colombia vs. Uruguay

Colombia

How did they make it through?
Colombia eased their way through Group C and topped the group after winning all three of their matches. They started the competition by hammering Greece 3-0 before beating the Ivory Coast 2-1. They completed the group stages in style by thrashing Japan 4-1 and sending out a statement to the rest of nations. Colombia looked really dangerous throughout the group stages and they have many young, talented players that can punish the opposition. Colombia are a really strong side and you can only imagine that the results would have been even more impressive if Falcao was not injured.

Rodriguez will be looking to shine once again

Rodriguez will be looking to shine once again

Players to watch out for:
Colombia have a talented group of players at their disposal but the one that stands out for me is James Rodríguez. The 22-year-old has taken the tournament by storm so far and is making a real name for himself on the biggest stage. The Monaco midfielder has scored three goals so far, the third of which was an absolute beauty of a goal against Japan. Rodríguez’s confidence is sky-high and he will be looking forward to running at the Uruguayan defence and trying to add to his goal tally.

Uruguay

How did they make it through?
Uruguay made it through to the knock-out stages in controversial fashion after beating Italy 1-0 in their final group match. The South Americans went into the match needing a win after losing to Costa Rica 3-1 in their opening World Cup match but managing to defeat England 2-1 in their second. Uruguay’s case was helped when Italian midfielder, Claudio Marchisio, was shown a straight-red for a challenge on Egidio Arevalo. Diego Godin scored Uruguay’s winner with just nine minutes remaining. Just before that goal though, Luis Suarez was accused of biting Giorgio Chiellini after a collision in the Italian penalty area. The teethmarks on the defenders shoulder said it all and Suarez has now been punished and kicked out of the competition by FIFA.

 

It is time for Cavani to step-up

It is time for Cavani to step-up

Players to watch out for:
Without Suarez Uruguay are no longer a great team. With the Liverpool striker out the action it is time for Edinson Cavani to step up to the challenge. The PSG player has been poor so far in the competition and he is certainly not making himself look like player that all the big clubs should be trying to purchase. Maybe with Suarez now out of the way he will finally show why PSG payed so much money for him last summer. It is certainly his best chance yet to step out of Suarez’s shadow in the national team and prove that he is the man to take them forward.

Overall prediction – 2-1
Colombia have been one of the surprise packages of this year’s World Cup and they have been exciting to watch. Many believed that the injury to Falcao would lead to the team going out in the group stages. It turns out however that they have many other talented players such as Rodríguez and Martinez. I cannot help but think that the Uruguay players’ heads will be elsewhere during this match and this is what will cost them. He may not be playing but Suarez will still be on the minds of all the players and this will be what costs them tonight. Without Suarez I do not believe they are good enough going forward and they are weak at the back. Look out for the Suarez excuses coming from the management team tomorrow…

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