Coach Jose Pekerman, now dubbed “Super Pekerman” by fans, said to be optimistic about Colombia’s chances for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after drawing against the hosts on Wednesday.
“We believe that Colombia is on track to where we are aiming for. There was an increase in quality against Brazil and we found a rival of high quality that puts us in a good level. We can be optimistic for the future,” he said at a press conference after the game.
“We sought to play the match as equals knowing that it was against a team of great ability. These meetings are very important to draw conclusions and to improve.”
While Colombia’s rise to prominence may have surprised some people, Pekerman remains adamant that he has always had faith in the quality of his team since day one.
“I never doubted the possibility of Colombia. But I knew it was a difficult challenge,” said Pekerman before the match.
“I know that not everyone in soccer will ever agree. There are always going to be problems, and I knew that to the initial period would be complicated….we have the players who can keep improving which is important.”
During the international friendly with Brazil on Wednesday night, Colombian supporters displayed banners of “Super Pekerman” in appreciation of the remarkable job the Argentine coach has done since he took over.
These adoring fans were not left disappointed as Colombia played some scintillating soccer, standing toe to toe with the five-time World Cup winners for the entire 90 minutes to earn a fully deserved 1-1 draw.
Colombia displayed the type of character and quality which should see them qualify for the World Cup in 2014 – their first since France 1998.
Los Cafeteros have at their disposal some players of immense quality such as Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Jackson Martinez but now they have added strength, determination and an organization which is solely down to one man.
Since Pekerman took over the reins from Leonel Alvarez at the end of February he has masterminded a revolution which has seen Colombia win six out of their last eight games.
They currently lie third in the South American table, four points behind leaders Argentina, but with a game in hand.