At just 17 years old, the young Linda Caicedo scored the goal on Monday with which Colombia beat Argentina 1-0 and qualified for the final of the Copa América Femenina. to the 2024 Paris Olympics and the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
In the semifinal played at the stadium Alfonso López from the Colombian city of Bucaramanga, The coffee growers overcame some rivals who did not have their best day and now they will play direct qualification to the World Cup in the match for third place, in which they will face the losers of the Brazil-Paraguay duel.
(Colombia, to the World Cup, to the Olympics, to the final and one step away from the title)
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With this result, Colombia will play its third World Cup after having participated in Germany 2011 and Canada 2015, as well as its third Olympics, after having gone to London 2012 and Rio 2016. Here, the keys of the Selection.
Until recently, the DT Nelson Abbey He was in charge of all the Colombian women’s soccer teams. However, a wise decision by the leadership was to release him from that responsibility so that he could dedicate himself to the senior team, which had the Copa América ahead of him.
So, they left the minor teams to Carlos Paniagua, the same as DT of Independiente Medellín achieved the subtitle in the Colombian league in 2019 and qualification for the Copa Libertadores.
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After the experience of being a technical assistant of Felipe Taborda in the Colombian Women’s National Team at the U-17 World Cup in Costa Rica, He was appointed as the main DT of the two categories, in December 2021. So in such a short time, just over 4 months, he achieved this double success, confirming his ability and knowledge.
The DT selected well and organized a common game idea for the two teams that paid off. But he also took advantage of the great talent of the national soccer players, who in those categories are demonstrating a great level, quality and quantity.
In both teams, highly capable soccer players were revealed, who have already demonstrated their game in the local league and who, despite their youth, faced these tournaments with great personality and ability.
Proof of them is that they have highlighted important individuals, in the sub-17 they did Linda Caicedo, great figure of the South American and author of the goal against Argentina to install the group in the final of the Copa América.
But in addition to them, who stood out for their goals, many players managed to stand out in different positions, showing that Colombian women’s soccer is on the rise. Players with a hunger for victory and a desire to shine in the yellow jersey. There was full commitment.
In spite of everything, the local League
Despite the criticism, the pressure to give the women’s league the same importance as the men’s league, to organize longer tournaments since this semester there will be no tournaments, the local championship has been a vital support for soccer players succeed at the national team level.
At a continental level, the Colombian league stands out for its journey, there is already an accumulated experience, above leagues such as, for example, Argentina. Even the local clubs have stood out in the Copa Libertadores, precisely for this reason.
In the sub-17 there were already players with significant experience, despite their youth, like Caicedo herself who had already shone with América and Cali.
Team players Nacional, Santa Fe, Cali, and from the leagues of Risaralda, Valle, Bogotá and Antioquia, They have mainly nurtured these two teams.
As the local league feeds on its own talent, the DT has a good spectrum to choose from.
Strong in Latin America
Qualifying for the World Cup in both categories is a great achievement, but with an asterisk that cannot be left unmentioned: in both South American competitions, Colombia was behind Brazil, which continues to be the great power in the area.
In the sub-20, Colombia fell 3-0 to the Brazilians. In the sub-17, the result was more even, just 1-0. They couldn’t be beaten.
The problem is that in the World Cups it will be at another level, with very strong teams, with a long tradition, with heavier leagues, with players who play abroad.
The classification to the final of the Copa América, the quota to the World Cup and the Olympic Games in Paris confirms that Colombia is strong in this area.
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