Jorge Barraza analyzes the Colombia National Team, 2026 World Cup Qualifiers – International Football – Sports

Who lost two points, Colombia o Uruguay…? Such was the slogan of all Colombian journalism on Thursday night. Without an atom of doubt: Colombia. Apart from the four goals, both had goal situations, but Colombia had six and the six were very clear.

James’ stick, Arias’ stick, point-blank header from Borré, Luis Díaz’s one-on-one rebound, which sent it to the sky, Uribe’s shot from in front of the goal that was off by centimeters, another from Luis Díaz also in the second half that hit Ronald Araujo… Uruguay, net-net, had one: the clear entry from the left by Brian Rodriguez with a left-footed shot covered very well by Camilo Vargas. The others, not so clear, became dirty and became less dangerous.
(Bomb! Neymar, Vinicius and Richarlison, partying before the game with Venezuela)(Colombia National Team: why don’t you train in Bogotá to prepare for the game in Quito?)

The numbers

A match that was 3 or 4 to 1 ended 2 to 2 due to incompetence in front of the rival goal. Otherwise, today the team Nestor Lorenzo It was second with 7 points, the same as Brazil.

Colombia has an eternal problem with goals: there is no affinity, they are about you. The Colombian footballer does not feel the goal. He has all the technique, but not the voracity, the eagerness, the ambition, the fever to score a goal that players from other countries do have.

It is not only a matter of smell, placement or knowing how to define, but also desire. The healthy exception is Falcao García. Among the first 100 scorers in history there is not a Colombian. Because…? Difficult to explain. You have to dream about the goal, want it, search for it almost with desperation. This is how it comes. And without a goal there is no paradise. Play nine Rafael Santos Borréa good element who, it is well known, is not a scorer and never will be, because the goal man manifests himself shortly after appearing in the First Division, no one stands out in this area at 28 or 29 years old.


vanexa Romero / EL TIEMPO

In that context, Dayro Moreno He has been a remarkable player. He may soon surpass the internal goal record of Sergio Galvan. He would deserve it, he has been a fantastic forward, unfortunately wasted, ignored by several National Team coaches.

If he had been in those fateful seven games without a goal in the previous Qualifier, Dayro would surely have scored one, he has the class, the inner strength, the charisma, the angel to score it. And he carries the goal in his soul. But he has been systematically ignored. Because he is from local football…? For having an undisciplined sign posted…? We do not know. And if he was undisciplined, how did he get so well at 38 years old…? How could he play 750 games…? Do you have to be in Krasnodar for them to call you…? We are not asking for it, now he is big, he already was, we use him as an example of what a scorer is. Those who are are not. In all these years, while Colombia prayed for a goal, Dayro watched the Qualifiers on television.

This Colombia of Lorenzo has something, I don’t know what… It’s competitive. Eleven games undefeated. The numbers don’t tell everything, but they say something. The clash against Uruguay, always dangerous, is very strange for analysis. To neutral eyes it was beautiful because of the back and forth and the emotions, to their own eyes not so much. They attacked each other a lot, both defenses faltered. Uruguay, which never dominates, dominated (the Bielsa effect…?).

Colombia, which finds it difficult to generate in attack, even had situations to sell. He was able to score and ended up tying due to an act of innocence: free kick for Uruguay in the middle of the field, there were three Colombian players close to the kicker, none of them stood in front of the ball, free kick for Maximiliano Araujo, He was left alone with Vargas and he committed a penalty.

Technicians know more than everyone (including journalists). Nobody gave James as a starter, Lorenzo put him in and number 10 was the figure on the field. Redemptive match for James, who entered with youthful desire. He was a leader, scorer, passer, driver, he put his soul into every ball. And in a brave game… This is the James we all want. We will see if he gives him the physique to shine also in Quito. He has to put an altar in his house dedicated to Uruguay, James. For that goal Brazil World Cup He became an arch-millionaire, with this Thursday he recovered idolatry.

GOAL BY MATEUS URIBE. Image of the Colombia vs. Uruguay national team match in the city of Barranquilla, qualifier for the 2026 FIFA World Cup Photo Vanexa Romero


Vanexa Romero / El Tiempo

The counterfigure: Luis Diaz. He didn’t play badly, greats never play badly. But he doesn’t do in Colombia like he does in Liverpool. They marked him hard and to the centimeter (Nández did it), under pressure, and he seemed upset. For that reason and because he sees that the games go by – he has worn the yellow jersey for 42 years – and it is not given to him by a consecrating game, a great performance. He begins to regret it. He knows that they look at him with a magnifying glass.

Now comes the queen test: Ecuador. That’s really hard. An example of the evolution of this football is the history Ecuador-Bolivia: From 1938 to 1999, Bolivia prevailed with 5 wins and three losses. From 2000 to today, Ecuador has 16 victories against one defeat. This is how history turns around or gets closer.

To understand the Ecuadorian rise it is necessary to understand where it comes from. Until the end of the ’80s he traveled in the last car in South America along with Bolivia and Venezuela, now he is fighting for third place with Uruguay. What is the secret of this increasingly visible phenomenon…? The constant appearance of magnificent players, with a marvelous physical biotype and, above all, very strong mentally. In 1989 Dusan Draskovic changed that biotype: he replaced the Creole player, skilled with the ball, but of short stature and little combativeness, with those of African descent. It took them a few decades to refine the technique, but now they’ve found the sweet spot. The names change, the level is maintained.

Ecuador is coming

La Tri has possibly the best trio of center backs in the world: William Pacho, Félix Torres, Piero Hincapié. Three machines, physical and mental. All three reach the goal. They push the car from behind. Due to injury they will be missing Estupiñán (phenomenal), but Beder Caicedo, with similar characteristics, will replace him. Moisés Caicedo, the most expensive transfer in the history of England, is a midfield reference.

They were missing a hook, a creative talent in three quarters of the field, they found it in Kendy Páez, the 16-year-old prodigy who has just scored the youngest goal in the history of this competition against Bolivia. It is worth highlighting here the courage of the Catalan coach Félix Sánchez, to send a boy of that age to the field, in the almost fierce Qualifiers. But he is fine, he plays for performance, not for the document.

Kendry provided the assist for the winning goal against Uruguay and scored the first in the 2-1 victory over Bolivia. It doesn’t come out anymore. Up ahead there is another reference: Enner Valencia, a bad guy, a brave, an indomitable one who does feel the goal. And a notable rebounder, don’t let her loose…

Ecuador is the exact measure to know what Lorenzo’s Colombia is made of.

(Millionaires, decimated: one more loss to play against Junior in the League)

Jorge Barraza
For the time
@JorgeBarraza OK

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