Colombia take on Germany while Paraguay meet the USA in New Delhi…
The group stage is finally over and it is time for the knockout stages to kick in. Playing in their first ever world cup, India did not win a single match and saw the other three group mates proceed to the later stages. Ghana, after their win against the hosts, topped the group, followed by Colombia and the USA taking the 2nd and 3rd spot respectively, with equal 6 points. While Ghana are set to play their Round of 16 match in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday, Colombia and the USA will be playing their matches in New Delhi against Germany and Paraguay respectively.
Colombia Vs Germany
Germany come into this one as the runners-up of Group C and pretty much wounded after their humiliating defeat to Iran in one of their group matches. In the German’s second match of the group, they lost 4-0 to the Asian U-17 champions, ruining their goal difference. Had it not been for the win against Guinea on 13th October, we would have seen Die Manschaft bidding adieu to the tournament.
Colombia’s story is a fairy-tale. They lost their opening match against Ghana, won against the hosts owing to their presence of mind and drive to attack and in the last match, won against the United States against all odds. The crux of the La Tricolor is their effective use of the wings with inverted wingers.
Both teams had their fair share of niggles in the group stages. However, both go into this one with a clean bill of a health and a full squad to pick from.
Head to Head
Their only other encounter at this level, at the 2007 edition in Korea Republic, was equally tight, ending in a 3-3 draw.
Man to Watch
Juan Penaloza-Colombia: The versatile youngster is a vital aspect of the Colombian gameplay. He has a knack of scoring goals and creating chances with ease. His ability to play in more than one positions is key to his team, adding to it, his Arjen Robben-esque goals against India made all the difference in his team’s progress to the knockout stages.
Jann-Fiete Arp-Germany: The German captain has already been in the headlines as the 17-year-old has scored many times for his national U-17 side. He was the main driving force for his team against Guinea, in their last group game. Like a typical striker captain, he falls back and encourages his team to do better. It was evident in Germany’s win against the Africans.
Colombia: Mier (GK), Balanta, Gutierrez, Perea, Bentancur, Gomez, Penaloza, Mejia, Campaz, Palacio, Cortes.
Germany: Plogmann, Nitzl, Hackethal, Boller, Arp, Abouchabaka, Kuhn, Jastrzembski, Keitel, Mai, Yeboah.
The game will be telecast Live on TEN 2/TEN 3/DD Sports: 1700 hrs/ 5:00 pm IST.
Paraguay vs USA
The American Derby will be played under the floodlights on a hot breezy night in New Delhi. Paraguay come into the game after winning all of their matches Group B. Having witnessed the quality of their play, it is ikely that their faceoff against the States would be mouthwatering.
The United States of America emerged as the best third-placed team of the tournament, having earned a whopping 6 points after defeating Ghana and India. Had it not been for the defeat against Colombia they would have faced the Germans instead, as they would have finished second in their group. As a team, they are a unit to be reckoned with. The North American runners-up are fearless and astute in their tactics.
Both teams have fully fit squads and the managers will be looking to start with their strongest lineups for this first knockout fixture.
Head to Head
This will be the first competitive meeting between the two teams
Man to Watch
Timothy Weah-USA: The young striker who is the son of Liberian legend and 1995 Ballon d’Or WINNER George Weah has proved his mettle during the group stages. He has the vision to score goals and assist whenever he is given a little space to operate. His skill set was at show against the wins over India and Colombia. He plays within the whole and spearheads every attack.
Antonio Galeano-Paraguay: Galeano is a player to watch out from the Paraguayan contingent. In a 4-4-2 traditional formation, he operates as a second striker and has a knack of scoring as well as creating goals with ease. In his two appearances, he has scored twice.
Paraguay: Huesca (GK),Zarate, Duarte, Alvarez, Rolon, Cardozo, Bogado, Villasanti, Armoa, Vega, Galeano.
USA: Garces (GK), Lindsey, Durkin, Sands, Gloster, Carleton, Ferri, Goslin, Akinola, Sargent, Weah.
The match will be telecast Live on TEN 2/TEN 3/DD Sports: 2000 hrs/ 8:00 pm IST.