Edwin Cardona is looking forward to a fiery contest when Colombia and Uruguay meet in a World Cup qualifier in Montevideo on Tuesday.
The midfielder scored late on to round off a 2-0 victory over Peru for Jose Pekerman’s side, while Uruguay picked up their first triumph in Bolivia in this process, winning by the same scoreline.
Historically, Colombia have struggled at the Estadio Centenario in the World Cup qualification process – their only win in eight trips coming 42 years ago with a 1-0 success ahead of West Germany 1974.
With Argentina and Brazil falling to defeat in their opening clashes, Cardona thinks it could be a difficult campaign and expects that to be evidenced in another tough clash with Uruguay.
“These qualifiers will be very hard. Favourites like Argentina and Brazil have already lost, so I think it’ll be quite complicated. It is important to start on the right foot,” Cardona said.
“They are a hardened team and earned a significant result in La Paz. I think they had never won there and it’s the first time they did it, so we know the abilities they have.
“They have a lot of spirit, never surrender and don’t let down their guard.
“Our idea is to win, but the coach already planned the game the way he wants. Obviously all matches are demanding.”
Colombia have been unable to include James Rodriguez in their squad for their opening two fixtures with the Real Madrid man sidelined through injury, but they have received a boost after Macnelly Torres returned to training with the national team.
However, Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez – who will watch the game from the stands as he continues to serve a touchline ban carried over from Copa America 2015 – believes Rodriguez’s absence has little effect because misfiring striker Radamel Falcao wields more influence over Pekerman’s team.
“Although James Rodriguez is missing for Colombia, Falcao carries more weight on the pitch,” Tabarez said, before revealing details of his side’s plans for the match.
“We will prepare well in set-pieces, because that is an influential weapon.
“We have to plan for the match as if the opponent does everything excellently – it’s a way to avoid surprises.
“We will try to restrict the opponent and afterwards look to cause them damage.”
Along with the loss of integral striking duo Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez due to injury, Tabarez has been dealt another blow with Cristian Rodriguez ruled out after a muscular injury picked up against Bolivia.
However, veteran midfielder Egidio Arevalo Rios, who missed the clash in La Paz, is available once again.