Brazil can secure top spot in Copa America Group B with victory over Colombia on Wednesday. The two sides go into the glamour clash of the group on the back of hugely contrasting results against Peru.
Neymar and Co. ensured the Selecao swept aside Los Incas 4-0 in their last game, but Colombia were stunned as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat to the same opposition. As a result, Brazil will finish top of Group B should they win against Colombia and Peru fail to beat Ecuador.
That will secure a quarter-final with the fourth-placed side in Group A, but it may not mean a routine last-eight clash, as Uruguay occupy that spot as it stands. A win will secure Colombia’s place in the quarters, though a draw could be enough if Ecuador lose to Peru in the earlier game.
The omens are not good for Colombia heading into the match in Rio de Janeiro. They are winless in their last four meetings with Selecao, Colombia’s last victory coming in the 2015 Copa America. Brazil are the top scorers in the tournament, having netted seven goals in their opening two games, but they may look to show greater ruthlessness in front of goal against Colombia.
As this game is likely to be a better barometer of where they stand ahead of the knockout stages, Brazil will be eager to do a better job of taking their chances and send a message to their rivals for the trophy. Should Colombia seal progression, it will be the fifth successive Copa America in which they have reached the last eight.
The Everton striker may have earned a place in the starting XI with his performance in the thumping of Peru. Richarlison came on at the start of the second half for Gabriel Barbosa, he scored Brazil’s fourth and created two chances.
Though Colombia slumped to a surprise defeat, it was another impressive performance for Cardona against Peru.