The US-Colombia game is the biggest mismatch of the Women’s World Cup Round of 16. The US is the favourite to win the whole tournament. Colombia, on the other hand, is ranked 28th in the world andhas never made it this farin a World Cup. Nate Silver’s model gives Colombia a 5% chance to advance on Monday night.
In the face of these odds, Colombia is coming in hot with the trash talk.
“They belittle us. They think we’re a team they’re going to walk all over and it will be an easy game for them,” midfielder Lady Andrade told USA Today, “We’re going to beat them since they like to talk so much.”
Andrade added that the US plays a “physical” style and constantly kicks opponents, whereas Colombia is “nice to watch.”
Andrade’s teammate Yoreli Rincon got in some shots too. She said, “They are clearly taller than us, more athletic, but they don’t have the heart we Colombians have.”
It’s unclear what exactly these players are referring to when they say the US has belittled them, but it seems like it has something to do with a match at the 2012 Olympics. The US won 3-0, but the match was overshadowed by Colombia player Lady Andrade sucker-punching Abby Wambach in the eye off the ball.
The ref missed the incident. After the game Wambach said Andrade should be kicked out of the tournament:
“Quit frankly it was dangerous. In all honesty, a really terrible play. Unsportsmanlike behaviour absolutely. I hope FIFA and the Olympic Committee will look at the film and say that this is not the type of player that we want in the Olympics.”
Andrade was suspended for two games. In that same interview, Wambach threw some shade at Colombia’s style of play:
“They wanted to tactically get inside our heads and play physical. It was their game plan, and I thought that they did a really great job at that. I think slowing the game down, going down, conceding injuries, whatever, sucker-punching when they can just to try to get whatever they could out of this game. They did well but we did better scoring three goals.”
Before Monday’s Round of 16 game, Andrade told USA Today about the incident, “I hit her, what else I can say? If you look back at the video you’ll see she hit me too, but we’re Colombia so they don’t want to review the whole episode.”
“They defeated us 3-0. However, they said all sorts of things because one of their players unfortunately got smacked. But that happens in many matches. It always happens — a foul, a player is awarded a card. But what’s happened following that episode because of something that happened three years ago, they have said things that have not been taken by us in the best way.”
The US has responded with a heavy dose of incredulity.
“I don’t know what to say about the Colombians,” US left back Meghan Klingenberg told the Washington Post. “I wish them well in the match and we’re going to do our best to beat them and they’re going to do their best to beat us.”
Colombia already has a win over France in this tournament. The US made it out of the so-called Group of Death undefeated, but has yet to put together a complete performance over 90 minutes.
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