This Friday, the Colombian Women's National Team will fulfill a pending dream: to play a Copa América at home, with its public, and with the idea of continuing to grow . The next objective is to return to a World Cup, after missing France 2019, and seek an unprecedented title.
The first game of the team led by Nelson Abadía will be this Friday, at the Pascual Guerrero stadium, against Paraguay, starting at 7 p.m. It will be seen on DirecTV Sports, Wni Sports + and Canal Trece.
Cali, the home of the Colombian Women's National Team
The fact of playing in Cali is not a coincidence. As Barranquilla became the home of the men's team, the capital of the Valley opened the doors to the women's team and also gave another show of fervor in the final of the Professional League in the first half of 2022, in which more than 38,000 people arrived for the final between América and Deportivo Cali, who won the first.
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“Happy and content to be here in Cali, it is definitely the home of the national team and the teacher already has us focused on Paraguay, we know that it is a warrior team, which in the end does not let us play, we are already psyched up studying the rival, we hope to do a good match and start to the Cup”, said defender Daniela Arias, one of the experienced players in the group.
“The group is fine, conscious and solid; they know the responsibility we have and the most important thing is that they are convinced of what their football is and what they have to do in the tournament”, said Nelson Abadía, who has a long career in women's football and who in the 2015 World Cup he was advisor to coach Felipe Taborda.
Colombia seeks to assert 32 months of preparation
After a long process of preparation, which began once Colombia won gold at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, the team is ready.Abadía tested 46 players, played 15 friendly matches in two and a half years and drew conclusions to put together his group of 23 players to seek the title.
The last act of the preparation was against the world champion, the United States, which ended with two defeats, 3-0 and 2-0. Despite the defeats, the coach was satisfied with what was seen.
“We already have the reflections very clear and with certainty about what we need for the tournament. After what was the last Fifa date, we knew that we had to measure ourselves against strong rivals; to obtain that degree of competitiveness that is needed and is required for this type of tournament.”
Abadía bet on a renewed group, which maintains a part of the base that put Colombia in two World Cups in the last decade, and included several of the soccer players who achieved a place in the youth world cups, such as Linda Caicedo, the player with the greatest projection in Colombian soccer, Gabriela Rodríguez and Ángela Barón.
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Abadía analyzed the first rival, Paraguay: “we have been analyzing Paraguay in its different FIFA date games that it had, we analyzed them with Uruguay from local, with Ecuador and the United States.Apart from what is their reference, they have two or three players who are very important, they have the idiosyncrasy of Paraguayan soccer in their quick frontal exit on the counterattack and we have worked on that, but what interests us is to impose our game”.
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Angie Castañeda, one of the team's internationals, is clear about the objective of the National Team. “That's the good thing about the experience, they guide us and motivate us, we are clear about what we want, which are the quotas for the World Cup and the Olympics, but above all we want to be champions.”
It will be the first of the four team games, with the obligation to qualify for the final phase, which will be played in Bucaramanga. Colombia has already missed a World Cup and does not want to live that experience again, least of all as a local. The house is ready for the Cup party.
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