With a convincing 3-0 victory over Brazil, the Colombia under-20 squad clinched the silver medal in the South American Championships final group stage. It was the last match of a successful tournament in which the future of Colombian football showed that there is more talent coming up after Falcao, James and Cuadrado.
In the championship’s first stage, an experimenting team notched up two victories and two defeats, more than enough to qualify for the final group stage with Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay and Peru. The tournament had a lot at stake with qualification places for the Under-20 World Cup in Canada and the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro 2016 up for grabs. Draws against Paraguay and Argentina and victories over Uruguay and Peru set up a final match versus Brazil in which the winner would still be in contention for qualification to the Olympic Games and Colombia sought vengeance for their older compatriots against the inventors of Samba football.
‘Los Cafeteros’ didn’t disappoint, crushing the Brazilians 3-0 with goals from ‘El Pibe’ Valderrama’s nephew Jarlan Barrera and twice-Chelsea-owned Joao Rodriguez. It was the Argentine team that went on to win the tournament, but Colombia achieved their main goals with a second place finish, qualification for the play-offs for the Olympic Games in 2016 and the World Championships Under-20 held in New Zealand in June this year.