The Germany 2015 World Cup was lit up in a sea of yellow as Columbia clinched a nail biting final by beating Belgium on penalties.
The Olympiastadion was the final venue and was full to capacity with an amazing 10000 Columbia fans making a vibrant noise in the stadium. Columbia boss Reynolds has decided to stick with his tried and trusted 4-3-3 formation which had served them well.
Belgium were the undoubted favourites for tie with such players as Courtois, De Bruyne and Kompany, but no Eden Hazard as an injury forced him out of proceedings. Boss Gareth Crisp stuck with 3-5-2 which had got them through to the final.
Cristian Zapata the captain of Columbia gets his players in one final huddle before the game gets underway. Pumped up and ready to go the Belgiums get the game underway and inside the first minute Lukaku gets on to Witsel pass and lofts the ball over Ospina but over the bar an early scare for the yellows. Jackson Martinez became the first yellow card questioning the Italian official Luca Reficone for a dubious decision.
The game entered the 11th minute and the breakthrough cam in the form of an unlikely source holding midfielder Carlos Sanchez latching on to Martinez pass and unleashing a low drive into the corner. It sent the Columbia fans into ecstasy as they celebrated the goal.
Columbia’s opening goal sealed with a kiss
The goal lifted Columbia and Martinez had 2 chances to double the lead, Courtois making 2 comfortable saves. A clever set up in the 30th minute set up Alderwield for Belgium but Ospina did well to parry his volley away. Just 3 minutes later the equaliser came Benteke rolling it across for De Bruyne who cuts inside his marker a curls home a beauty, 1-1 in the World Cup final.
De Bruyne races away to celebrate the equaliser
Belgium now have the wind in their sails as they look to grab the lead and on 40 minutes Nainggolan looks to have given them that but Ospina produces a fantastic save. Columbia manage to stay firm and the half time score is 1-1.
The second half gets underway with Reynolds saying his players must “remain calm” as they seem to be at sixes and sevens in the final 12 or so minutes prior to half time. The opening 12 or so minutes is fairly uneventful with no action of note apart from Stephen Beddows entering the field claiming this was Frank Hirst’s World Cup to win and holding aloft “A Re-Instate the Italians” flag. He was swiftly removed to great applause from both sets of fans, with Gareth Crisp giving him a two fingered salute and Reynolds saying prehistoric football does work.
Finally the second half burst into action with Courtois getting both hands to a rasping drive from Freddy Guarin in the 57th minute. Columbia begin to find some believe and begin to press very high on Belgium who continue to make mistakes. A foul on Ramos gives James Rodriguez the chance to whip a free kick on to the head of Martinez who heads it straight at Courtois. Rodriguez then sets up Martinez in the 82nd minute but his shot goes past the post.
Both coaches shout instructions from the touchline as the intensity grows. Columbia boss Reynolds then reacts to Roy Keane sitting near the dug outs smoking a fake spliff and pointing in the direction of Reynolds. Keane manager of Real Madrid claimed Reynolds who manages Dortmund also smoked drugs when countering an offer for Raheem Sterling. For a split second Reynolds walks over to Keane grabs the fake spliff and starts smoking it, the 2 laugh a lighthearted bit of banter in a tense game. Lukaku then bursts through on to Witsel ball but is denied by Ospina who spreads himself well. The game enters the final few minutes and neither team makes any impression and the game ends 1-1, it’s now down to penalties and who can hold their nerves.
Columbia fans salute their team before the dreaded penalty shootout
Penalties will be taken in front of the Belgium fans as both manager select their takes and then shake hands. Martinez steps up to take the first penalty but drags it wide not the start Columbia wanted. Benteke looks to give Belgium the advantage but despite sending Ospina the wrong way he puts it wide. Gutierrez a 2nd half sub steps and strikes it down the middle 1-0 Columbia. Lukaku next for Belgium, it’s lazy run and Ospina guesses right and makes the save.
Ramos makes the nervous walk up to the spot with the wait of a nation on his shoulders and the pressure is too much as his powerful spot kick is saved, still 1-0 Columbia. Fellaini him with the big hair steps up and 1-1 he finds the top corner. Carlos Sanchez Columbia’s goalscorer back in the 11th minute up next, he places it and finds the corner, 2-1 Columbia. De Bruyne next who netted the equaliser for his team sends Ospina the wrong way 2-2. Freddy Guarin now for Columbia and nails are bitten, he goes for the top corner and it is in off the post 3-2. Axel Witsel now for Belgium to send it down to sudden death, sends Ospina the wrong way 3-3.
The pressure cranks up another notch as we enter sudden death. James Rodriguez the talented Real Madrid playmaker next looks calm and places in the top corner Courtois guesses right but it is too good, 4-3. Dries Mertens is now next for Belgium head down he steps up strikes it low and hard but Ospina makes the save, COLUMBIA ARE THE WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS!
Columbia players celebrate their teams triumph
Boss Reynolds was lost for words at the final whistle but managed to speak after the trophy was presented, “just look at those fans. I am thrilled the players have worked tirelessly and deserve this magnificent moment”. When quizzed about his future, “I hope to stay, but we will sit down with the Columbian FA and go from there”, said Reynolds.