Forget Brazil history, Pekermen urges Colombia

FORTALEZA Brazil (Reuters) - Colombia will not dwell on their dismal record against Brazil when they face the five-times champions in their World Cup quarter-final, coach Jose Pekerman said on Thursday.

Colombia's James Rodriguez chats with coach Jose Pekerman as they attend a team trainning sesion in Fortaleza July 3, 2014. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

“The key is not think about past events,” Pekerman told a news conference when asked about the challenge of facing the Brazilians on their home turf.

“We always try to look ahead. For Colombia each match is a new challenge and brings new, demanding opponents. We can’t think about what happened in the past.”

Colombia go into Friday’s quarter-final in Fortaleza with a terrible record against Brazil.

Of their 25 meetings, the Colombians have won just twice and their last victory was 23 years ago.

Brazil’s 15 victories include a 9-0 rout at the 1957 Copa America, a 6-2 drubbing in Rio de Janeiro in 1969 and a crushing 6-0 win in the same city in 1977.

For every goal that Colombia have scored against the Brazil, the Brazilians have scored five.

“It’s natural that in the run-up to a match people draw on what’s happened in the past and talk about the story of past World Cups,” Pekerman said.

“We can’t ignore each team’s past. Their histories, idiosyncrasies and traditions carry weight, but that’s not to say that you’re going to win just because of what happened in the past.”

Colombia can take some comfort from their last four meetings which all ended in draws.

They enter Friday’s clash having won all four matches at this World Cup, scoring 11 goals and conceding just two.

Brazil have won two of their four matches within 90 minutes but were held to a goalless draw by Mexico in the first round and needed a penalty shootout to beat Chile in their last match.

Reporting by Gideon Long; Editing by Greg Stutchbury