The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup has reached the knockout round stage with 16 teams remaining. From this stage all matches are one-offs with the winner advancing and the loser going home. As far as South America, two teams remain in the tournament. Brazil will be playing Australia and Colombia will be matched against the United States.
Brazil, who is making their seventh World Cup appearance along with six Copa America championships, ran the table in Group E. They defeated the Korea Republic 2-0 in their opener as Marta tallied her 15th World Cup goal. The other two wins were closer with Alves goal the lone score in a 1-0 win over Spain. They closed it out with another 1-0 win over Costa Rica with an 83rd minute goal by Fernandes securing a perfect group record and a date with Australia.
Colombia used an upset to secure their final 16 appearance in only their second World Cup ever. The hero of “Las Cafeteras” has been goaltender Sandra Sepulveda, who kept Colombia in the game in their opener against Mexico until Daniela Montoya hit for an 82nd minute goal which allowed Colombia to draw 1-1. But the result which woke up followers of the Cup was a 2-0 upset over third ranked France. Sepulveda was brillant as Lady Andrade scored early and Catalina Usme clinched it in injury time.
The downside is that Colombia will face the United States without Sepulveda. She acquired two yellow cards, the second in a third Group F loss to England, which dropped them to third. This will make it difficult against the number two ranked Americans, who have a vaunted attack. Yet they are wary.
They got a tremendous result against France,”
U.S. coach Jill Ellis responded,
“But at this point, and the players know this, you’ve got to respect what they can do — because they’re going to bring it as much as we are.”