Colombia will be bidding to create more upsets when they take on the United States as former winners Norway play England in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup on Monday.
Colombia achieved one of the biggest upsets in tournament history when they shocked third-ranked France 2-0 in their group match and now have a huge task ahead of them in two-time winners the United States.
Colombia coach Fabian Taborda said his 28th-ranked side feared no one, even the second-ranked Americans, as they play outside the group stages for the first time.
They lost 2-1 to England and were held 1-1 by Mexico in their other Group F games as they advanced as one of the best third-placed finishers.
“We faced France, a power, and then England, a power, and then if we have to face the United States we will be ready to play them,” Taborda said.
“In this World Cup nothing is easy, everything is difficult.”
Colombia, led by Yoreli Rincon and Lady Andrade, have nothing to lose, knowing they have already beaten expectations.
They will, though, not have goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda, who drew her second yellow card on Wednesday.
It will be a match between unequals as in Colombia there are no professional leagues and the majority of players have day jobs while the Americans are all full-time players. Colombia lost 3-0 to the Americans, winners in 1991 and 1999, at the last World Cup in Germany.
US star Abby Wambach, with 14 World Cup goals, could match the record 15 of Brazil’s Marta during the game in Edmonton, the winner of which will face China in the last eight.
“We’re battle tested and feeling confident coming out of that group,” US coach Jill Ellis said of their tough Group D, from which they emerged as leaders with two wins and a draw against Sweden.
In Monday’s second game, Mark Sampson’s England face 1995 winners Norway in Ottawa.
"We are going to face a really good Norwegian side. They have drawn with the best team in the tournament in Germany," Sampson said. "But this England team is playing well at the moment and we feel that we've got a lot of weapons we can use."
England have never won a knockout-round match at the World Cup, losing in the quarter-finals in 1995, 2007 and 2011.
In Sunday night’s early match,aA second-half goal from substitute Kyah Simon put Australia through to the quarter-finals at the expense of star-studded Brazil.
Simon got the breakthrough after 80 minutes in wet and windy conditions in Moncton, Ontario, against the 2007 runners-up captained by five-time world player of the year Marta.
Both teams fought to break through with scoring opportunities rare in a tight first half with Marta, Andressina and Formiga all missing the target for the seventh-ranked Brazilians.
Marta missed another chance to add to her World Cup record 15 goals after 62 minutes when she hit wide of goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who did well to keep out a Cristiane effort after 78 minutes.
Australia coach Alen Stajcic brought on Simon after 64 minutes, and it paid off with 10 minutes to go.
Captain Lisa De Vanna broke through, with her shot punched out by Luciana in the Brazil goal straight into the path of the onrushing Simon, who made no mistake.
Australia next play either champions Japan or the Netherlands for a place in the semi-finals, with Brazil again returning home to South America still waiting a first World Cup title.
It is the third time that Australia have reached the quarter-finals after 2007 and 2011, but they had never won a knockout round match before. The World Cup has a last-16 round for the first time as the tournament has expanded to 24 teams.
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