Colombia’s new coach Eduardo Lara
has announced seven changes to the side for Saturday’s World Cup
qualifier at home to South American group leaders Paraguay.
Lara has replaced Jorge Luis Pinto, sacked after last
month’s 4-0 defeat by Chile, and his first task is to end his
team’s chronic scoring problem.
Colombia have managed only four goals in eight qualifiers,
three of which have been goalless draws.
Lara said Freddy Montero, 21 and topscorer in the Colombian
championship with 11 goals for Deportivo Cali, would form the
new striking partnership alongside Portugal-based Wason
Experienced defender Mario Yepes, dropped by Pinto after
last year’s Copa America, returns to the side as captain.
Midfielders Gerardo Bedoya and Fabian Vargas have also been
Players who keep their places include goalkeeper Agustin
Julio and playmaker Giovanni Hernandez.
“I’ve always said that we were going to need men of
experience,” said Vargas.
“The previous group had very good players, but they lacked a
bit of experience especially for the difficult moments and the
pressure we are under now.”
Colombia, who last qualified for the World Cup in 1998, are
sixth in the 10-team South American group with 10 points from
eight games. (Reuters)