The last sixteen of the 2011 U-20 World Cup kicks off today with four ties, among them hosts Colombia versus Costa Rica.
Colombia sailed through their group with a 100% record, the reward for which is staying in Bogota, where they played all of their group games. Costa Rica sneaked through as one of the best third-place finishers from a group that included Ecuador, to whom they fell to a 3-0 defeat.
There will no major changes to the Colombian starting eleven, with Santiago Arias’ return to the centre of defence following injury likely to be the only alteration from the side that beat South Korea 1-0 in their final group match.
They will therefore line up as follows: Bonilla; Franco, Murillo, Arias, Quiñónez; Cabezas, Moreno, Valencia, Ortega; Rodríguez, Muriel.
Colombia coach Eduardo Lara has urged caution ahead of the match, but is still confident in his charges ability. “You can’t afford to make the slightest mistake from this round on. We’re starting to feel the physical effects now but I can’t ask any more of these boys. Playing in Bogota suits us because we can feel the support of the whole of Colombia there, which makes us stronger.”
Five Colombian players, including star man James Rodriguez, go into the match on yellow cards and will be hoping to avoid the bookings that would cause them to miss the quarter final should Colombia progress.
Costa Rica are expected to line up as follows: Vargas; Smith, Contreras, Escoe, Golobio; Mora, Vega, Calvo; Campbell, Soto, Martínez.
All matches from the U-20 World Cup are available to view via internet stream on FIFA.com in certain territories, including the UK. From the link, click on the ‘FIFA.com TV Live’ box on the right hand side of the screen, which looks like this:
Colombia vs Costa Rica kicks off at 20:00 Colombian time, which is 02:00 Wednesday morning UK time, 03:00 CET, 18:00 US West Coast and 21:00 US East Coast.