When Colombian football team took the flight to Brazil in 2014 to play the FIFA World Cup, they were touted as the underdogs of the tournament. The label was justified as the South American side was participating in the biggest football showdown on the planet after a gap of 16 years. However, James Rodriguez along with Radamel Falcao shifted the tides and propelled the ‘underdogs’ to the quarterfinals, helping the team emerge as the dark horses of the Brazil world cup.
The promise in that 2014 World Cup was short lived but the Colombians went back home with their heads held high and the entire nation saluting them.
Fast forward 4 years, Colombia headed to Russia in order to play their second consecutive world cup in years and this time out, they were not carrying the tag of underdogs. Rather Los Cafeteros entered the football extravaganza as one of the strongest teams.
David Ospina, Cristian Zapata, Yerry Mina, Davinson Sanchez, Carlos Sanchez, James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado, Carlos Bacca and Radamel Falcao are some of the world class players that comprises the Colombian squad.
However, unlike 2014 World Cup, Colombia has failed to produce the dazzling displays and looked like a shadow of what was expected of them. To justify this theory, the Colombian team was drawn with minnows in Japan, Senegal and Poland in Group H of 2018 World Cup.
And after playing two matches, the South Americans find themselves lying at the third spot in the table courtesy to a 3-0 victory over Poland. But their 2-1 defeat to Japan spoke volumes of their shortcomings.
Both Falcao and Rodriguez have been missing the spark in Russia and are yet to make any significant impact in the matches, barring a merely estimable display by the latter in Poland match.
Colombia will now play their final group fixture on Thursday against Senegal with their round of 16 qualification hopes hanging by a thread.
If Colombia draws or loses the upcoming match, they will be effectively eliminated from the world cup. Hence, they either do or die against Senegal if they want to stay longer in the ongoing world cup.