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FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 Group A: All you need to know about Team Colombia

Photo: FIFA
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Following the trend going on at Lntup.com for the past few days today we will be centering our attention towards one of the potent football sides of Latin America, the Colombian u-17 national team.

Since the era of Valderama, Rene Higueta passed by the golden days of Colombian football faded pretty much till the sudden resurgence that took place few years back when they put up a commendable show in the Brazil World cup of 2014 ( they reached the knockout stages before suffering a 2-1defeat to the hosts). But that performance did translate into something much bigger as the sport once again rediscovered its long lost hype within the country.

In this article we will be analyzing in bits and pieces the recent performances of their u-17 national side on their journey to the World Championship in October this year and which players are most likely to come to the fore to stun everyone from this youth side brimming with talent and potential.

Relevant Squad Info and much more

Team Name: Colombia
Nickname: Los Cafeteros (The Coffee Growers)
Association: Federacion Colombiana de Futbol(FCF)
Confederation: CONMEBOL (South America)
Head coach: Orlando Restrepo
FIFA code: COL

FIFA U-17 World Cup record in previous editions

India 2017 will be the country’s sixth appearance in this competition and their first since Nigeria 2009 where they finished third and matched their previous best display in the World Championship dating back to Finland 2003.

In their other appearences, the Los Cafeteros reached the round of 16 at Korea Republic 2007 but exited at the group stages of both Scotland 1989 and Japan 1993.

The road to India

Colombia secured their World cup berth by virtue of their third-place finish at this year’s South American U-17 Championship.

Two wins followed by one draw and one defeat saw them take second place in Group A behind Chile and move comfortably into the six team final phase. But things got a bit worse for them as a 2-1 victory against Ecuador soon got overshadowed by one draw against Venezuela and successive defeats at the hands of Chile (0-1) and Brazil (0-3).

With the World Cup qualification at stake the team showed strong resilience and turned things in their favour by a crucial 2-1 victory over Paraguay to seal their spot.

The Coach and his style of display

Though never a professional player himself coach Orlando Restrepo has always been a keen follower and a lifetime student of the game of football.

The Colombian has already been at the helm of several sports academies and has been a physical education instructor and a sports practitioner himself during his early days. The 60 year old veteran has gathered tonnes of experience in the field of coaching at club level as he has been in charge of several teams back in Bolivia and Costa Rica throughout his entire career.

He also enjoyed a successful stint with Atletico Nacional’s u-17 side during the period of 2013-2015 finally settling with this Colombian youth side since mid August of last year. His playing style has been roughly dynamic exhibiting the South American flamboyance as well at times, mainly characterised by patient build up from the back and launching venomous attacks.

Colombia’s terrific trio

Yes, this team both hunts and haunts and can make their opponents regret big time. They hunt in packs and thanks to their fantastic coordination upfront they can cause damage to any team even before the latter realizes.

The tripartite attack of Santiago Barrero, Juan Penaloza and Jaminton Campaz have accounted for the lionshare (75 percent to be exact) of their goals scored and chances created. These three had stunning outings at the qualifying stages and thus the bulk of the responsibilities rest on their shoulders. They have already drawn praise from not only their youth team head coach but also from the Colombian senior team coach, Jose Pekerman who has already spoken highly of these kids. Several top South American and European clubs have already tried to lure them in.

So if these three big guns don’t fail to disappoint as they don’t seem to very often then group A can definitely spring up few surprises for all of us.

Author’s take on Team Colombia

Well this Colombian side has that edge and the balance necessary to go all the way in this competition and should ideally present themselves in full throttle when they take the field on October 6th against Ghana. This squad can provide the country the credible successors of Carlos Bacca, James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao in the near future. We would therefore like to wish the Colombian u-17 side all the best ahead of their campaign and would eagerly wait for some jaw dropping display from the youngsters. Good luck Los Cafeteros. Give your best shot and make your nation proud.