ANALYSIS: Pekerman spoiling tactics pay off until the penalties

Alan O’Brien 

José Pekerman’s plan-of-defence turned this second-round match into one long mutual nullification exercise. And, while Colombia’s safety-first system produced a penalty lottery they ultimately lost, it also exposed the South Americans’ longstanding over-reliance on one creative fulcrum. Continue reading

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ANALYSIS: Small margins favour craven Colombia over structured Senegal

Alan O’Brien 

No first-half touches in the Senegal penalty area. No shots of any description from open-play. No ideas, no invention, no intent. In a must-win game, Colombia were abject here across all metrics. And, yet, it is José Pekerman’s side who progress to the second round, while one of the most impressive African sides in recent memory goes home. Such is life; such is football. Continue reading