Carlos Paniagua stood in front of the microphone and was excited, eager, with every intention of making history with the U-20 Colombian Women's National Team . This Saturday, his team will seek passage to the semifinal of the World Cup in the category, in Costa Rica.
Easy? No way. Brazil comes with an overwhelming step, with ten games without conceding goals, counting South American and World Cup, and if it was not first in its group it was because it did not score more goals against Australia and Costa Rica. And there were seven in two games.
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These were the reflections of the Colombian coach before the biggest challenge of his sports career.
Paniagua confirms a change and there could be another one
Will there be changes in the line-up? “Today (Friday) we had the second work session after the game with New Zealand. It's obvious, the replacement is going to be Yunaira López as a winger, we're waiting now in the afternoon to watch a video, to see if it's Gabriela or Ingrid Guerra, but we're working on both variants”.
How to approach the game.“The order, that we have a short team, supportive, united on the field of play, we guide them so that the team is safe, that they have confidence on the field of play, we know that there is a great rival up front, but when one aspires and it is not conformist because you have to take risks. We have to play a great game, hopefully without mistakes and with great success at the top”.
The changes it prepares. “We worked on all these variants yesterday, we worked on them today and we worked on them in previous tournaments, such as the Bolivarianos and the Suramericano itself. With Gabriela, the team wins more football, with impressive conditions, when she plays inside or on the wing, she knows very well with Gisela or Linda, we must take advantage of those partnerships. Why do we have Ingrid Guerra in mind, because she would gain presence up front and in the ABP we would win in that job of still ball. We are thoroughly analyzing the games that Brazil has played here so far, today, after we see the last video with them, we are going to define ourselves and make a decision that will lead us to obtain what we dream of, to be in a semi-final of the World Cup”.
This is how Carlos Paniagua analyzes Brazil
Why is Brazil so strong?“Brazil in the South American won all the games, won all seven games, scored a number of goals, I think 20, and they didn't score. They continue here with that good average, they only tied with Spain in their World Cup debut, which tied 0-0, but they beat Australia 2-0 and Costa Rica 5-0, they continue to show that balance. At times, Brazil both in the South American and in this World Cup is even lucky, because Brazil is also reached. If you remember, in the South American we had the game more or less controlled and they scored two goals very close to each other and almost the same. We have strengthened ourselves in those ABP against. To beat this Brazil we must have personality, that they enjoy the game, but calmly, safely and with the commitment they have had in previous games.”
The difference Linda Caicedo makes.“The great world champions have always had those different players. If we talk from the year 86 with Maradona, before with Kempes, and successively those who have stood out. We have a spectacular player like Linda, who makes a difference from her and the players feel supported by her. It is a bit burdening her with responsibility, she is a 17-year-old girl and we want her to enjoy the game, for her teammates to support her, for her to support her teammates and that her talent is important, but also that they work without the ball so much Gisela like her, that they collaborate with the team in that defensive phase. Linda is humble, down to earth, she knows where she is going, and I think neither she nor the other players are going to miss this opportunity to reach a semi-final of a world championship”.
Difference between this game and the South American game.“Each game is a different story. Now with the technology we have and with the video analysis department that the Federation has, we were able to analyze Germany well and beat a power like this, three times world champion in the category and who is no longer in the World Cup. We fear the same tools, they are two different teams, a European team that opens up the extremes well, with a 9 between the central ones and some interior ones that are behind our central midfielder. Brazil has been analyzing a very short 4-4-2, with a more biotype, stronger, tougher and with a lot of speed from the middle up. They are two different styles and ideas, but we are playing a world championship, we already had the opportunity to play against Europeans, then against the Mexicans who are more seasoned, who do not give up a lost ball, and then against the Oceanic, which was not easy. From that we know what needs to be corrected and improved, that is what we are doing at the moment, using the best 11 that come out for this match and that represent us very well.”
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The psychologist.“Having Rafael Zabaraín is too important. Now he had a long conversation with Yunaira López, who is the replacement for Yirleidys Quejada, who told him that they have worked very hard, they have made many sacrifices to get where they are, there were no guayos or tickets to go to training, now they are in quarterfinals of a World Cup, in other conditions, that they look back, that all that sacrifice was worth it and will be worth more if they beat Brazil. It fills his head with tranquility, that they don't go out just to fulfill but to enjoy. It is a very important support. And as DT, what was yesterday and today, is to give security to the team in the tactical and strategic, and now that we are going to show you a video, the greatest strength that Brazil has, how are we going to press, to wait, to wait in the area 2 so as not to give too much from the middle back. That the players are attentive from minute 1 until the judge whistles at minute 90, 95 and this can be carried out”.
How to beat Brazil. “We all work to win and the message is that the time has come to beat Brazil, that we go out without complexes, with personality, that there will be passages where you have to take risks in order to win, and not just talk about how strong they are, but what Colombia has shown in this World Cup and with this beautiful generation we have to go out and beat them, I think that in Brazil they don't have a Linda Caicedo, we have to look for the possibility of looking for a world final and why no, dreaming of winning the title”.
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