Colombia’s national soccer coach Jose Pekerman said his team is prepared for a tough match against Ivory Coast in the Brazilian capital, in a match that could see either team through to the next round of the World Cup, local media reported on Thursday.
Colombia comes fresh from a 3-0 win over Greece in their first group C match while Cote d’Ivoire scored twice in a span of two minutes in their 2-1 win over Japan on Saturday at the onset of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
If there is a clear winner in Thursday’s match at the Mane Garrincha stadium in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia, that team will progress to the round of 16, according to Colombia’s Semana news-magazine.
“We’re going to play very experienced opponents, a true World Cup rival who have come to win, who will create difficulties for us and for that reason it will be a tough match. They’re going to make life very uncomfortable for us,” said the Argentine coach of Los Cafeteros, quoted in a FIFA news report on Thursday.
“They know we’ll be keeping an eye on certain of their players and beating them will depend on our players’ inspiration and the collective strength of a team showing it is ready to fight for qualification to the last 16,” he added.
Pekerman also talked up the opposing team, Cote d’Ivoire.
“Everyone knows the abilities of [Didier] Drogba, Gervinho, Yaya Toure. They have an excellent full-back in Serge Aurier, who scored both goals against Japan, and the experience of Didier Zokora, who has gone from a central midfielder to bringing calm to the team’s defense,” he said.