Colombia set to make World Cup debut
South Americans face tough task in experienced Sweden
Day 3, Match 5
Colombia vs. Sweden, Group C
Date and Location
June 28, BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany
Live on Rogers Sportsnet and CBCSports.ca (8:45 am ET). Consult the full broadcast schedule.
What's at stake
The United States and North Korea meet later in the day, so this game is a chance for Colombia and Sweden to jump out to an early lead in the group standings. And who knows, they still may have the lead at the end of the day if the Americans and North Koreans battle to a draw.
Setting the stage
Rookies against veterans open proceedings in what may prove to be the Group of Death. Sweden, a World Cup ever-present, will start as warm favourite to take the points.
The Swedes, unbeaten in qualifying, boast an enviable record in women's soccer. One of the pioneers of the female game, Sweden has consistently produced highly competitive teams but has never won the World Cup. They were beaten finalists in 2003.
The Colombians, having qualified for the first time, are likely to find the going tough. Coach Ricardo Rozo insists his team can build on "this new era" but his players lack experience at this level. The Swedes, led by Lotta Schelin and fit again captain Caroline Seger, should take advantage.
Player to watch for Colombia
Yoreli Rincon — One of the brightest young South American prospects, Rincon is an exciting player who combines midfield creativity, amazing possession and dribbling skills, and a nose for goal.
Player to watch for Sweden
Lotta Schelin — Regarded as the face of a new era for Sweden, Schelin is one of the most sought after players in world soccer. A skilful creator, Schelin is a pivotal member of the Swedish national team and the tall, attacking star has drawn comparisons to her male compatriot Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
"We've put our trust in the Lord and we believe he'll look out for us at this competition." — midfielder Yoreli Rincon told FIFA.com
"Women's football in Colombia has come on a long way in recent years, and that makes them genuinely dangerous. We can't go into the first match thinking we just have to show up in order to win. We have a job to do, and we must do it well." — midfielder Lotta Schelin told FIFA.com
World Cup head-to-head
Colombia and Sweden have never played each other before, be it at a World Cup or in an international friendly.