Colombia to face Egypt in pre-World Cup friendly
Carnago (Italy), June 1 (IANS) The Colombian team will face off in the northern Italian city of Bergamo against an Egyptian squad lacking injured captain Mohamed Salah in a friendly match ahead of next month’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Colombians have been working for five days at AC Milan’s training facility and see Friday’s duel as an opportunity to measure themselves against a team that will also be playing in Russia, reports EFE news agency.
After their prestigious 3-2 victory in March in Paris against France and their scoreless draw against Australia, Colombia want to close out their preparations with a good performance that will give them some momentum for the Russia campaign, where they are matched up in Group H with Poland, Senegal and Japan.
Colombia coach Jose Pekerman has been preparing his squad for the match against the Egyptians with two training sessions per day amid a harmonious and very focused atmosphere.
The aim in Russia will be to exert maximum effort to improve on the quarter-finals spot Colombia attained in the 2014 Brazil World Cup, and the South Americans are convinced that the experience acquired in the past and the co-ordination that prevails on the squad at present give them the right to dream of bigger and better things.
“Having a basis gives you something more. I think that knowing and spending much time together can give you a plus. We have to be very calm, get through each day without anxiety,” star winger Juan Guillermo Cuadrado said recently.
Salah, who was injured last weekend playing for Liverpool in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, is expected to be fit in time to compete for Egypt in the World Cup matches.
Despite the absence of the English Premier League’s top scorer, Colombia have no illusions that Egypt remain dangerous rivals.