SAMARA, Russia (Reuters) – England are not afraid of championship knockout opponents in Colombia, said South American coach Jose Pekerman, who enjoys the prospect of the full-on-the-death knockout phase tournament.
Colombia finished the first round with a 1 : 0 victory over Senegal, which brought them as group winners in the round of the last 16, the African team could be thrown in an exciting finale from the tournament.
It was a completely different end to Group G, where England and Belgium were both out to claim second place by playing in second place and providing a smoother way into the later stages of the tournament.
England ended in an encounter in which both teams contested the second game, lost to Belgium 1-0. This made Colombia and England meet in Moscow on Tuesday.
While impressed by England's opening performances in the tournament, Pekerman was confident that his side could reach the quarter-finals, where either Sweden or Switzerland would wait.
"I definitely think that England has what it takes to be good, but it will be a game in which Colombia is confident of playing at a high level and achieving a good result," he told reporters ,
"We know that every team that has reached the last 16 is good, we are talking about the best 16 teams in the world," he added.
"Of course England can have a good day or an even better day England is a young team, has a lot of harmony and it can be said that they have a lot of confidence in themselves …
"Now is another kind of game on our way, these will be completely full to win the death games, or you're out. These are extreme situations. "
Pekerman's side were mostly second-best in their Senegal fixture with a 60-minute absence of talisman James Rodriguez, who was replaced by an injury in the first half.
The Colombian coach said he was" extremely worried "on the fitness of the player, but he is pleased that the team has taken the opportunity to win against Senegal."
"I want to emphasize that all my players have played well and at a high level," said Pekerman .
"When you prepare a team, look at the upcoming game and are very focused. These incidents (Rodriguez injury) can be very difficult for you, so what we did was very extraordinary, especially when you think about the team we played. "
Cut by Peter Rutherford