Could underdogs Colombia put an end to the Lioness World Cup dreams?

The stage is set for the quarter-finals of the Women's World Cup as England continue to prepare for their Saturday clash against Colombia in Sydney.

The Lionesses are preparing for their toughest match yet in the World Cup as an emboldened Colombia look to build on their momentum as the tournament’s underdogs.

After beating South Korea in their opening game, Colombia shocked the world as they beat Germany, the world’s second-ranked side, in a competitive 2-1 fixture.

And, a 1-0 defeat in their final group game to Morocco wasn’t enough to knock them off the top spot in Group H.

Catalina Usme scored the only goal in the side’s last-16 battle against Jamaica, securing the team’s place in the quarter-finals.

At 25th, the South Americans are the lowest placed of the quarter-finalists in FIFA’s rankings, but, having already helped see off one of the pre-tournament favourites Germany in the group stage, they cannot be underestimated.

Runners-up to Brazil in last year’s Copa America Femenina, they travelled to Australia and New Zealand not only determined to better their previous best of reaching the last 16 in Canada in 2015, but of making a significant impression.

Victory over an England side that, barring their thumping 6-1 Group D victory over China, have not been at their best, would certainly do that.

Who are Colombia’s players to watch out for?

Colombia’s Catalina Usme has been one of the country’s standout stars. / Credit: AP

Two women at opposite ends of their careers have carried the nation’s hopes in some style Down Under.

Inspirational skipper Catalina Usme, 33, and Real Madrid’s 18-year-old Linda Caicedo, widely regarded as a superstar in the making, have each scored two of the five goals they have managed in the competition to date.

As well as Usme and Caicedo, who finished top scorer in the Colombian league as a 14-year-old, coach Nelson Abadia has Atletico Madrid midfielder Leicy Santos, Levante forward Mayra Ramirez and Real Sociedad defender Manuela Venegas at his disposal.

Colombia have been described as “raw” in their approach to the game, an expression which says as much about their physicality – a behind-closed-doors warm-up game against the Republic of Ireland was abandoned at Ireland’s request after a bruising 20 minutes – as it does their freedom of expression.

Abadia is not afraid to tinker with a system in which it is pace out wide that provides the threat, although his team is based on the solid foundation of a back four that have conceded only two goals so far in the tournament.

How are England doing?

England’s Lionesses came through a nail-biting penalty shootout to beat Nigeria in the last-16, despite the sending off of tournament standout Lauren James.

The 21-year-old Chelsea forward was handed a red card for treading on Michelle Alozie as she lay on the floor – and could be banned for the rest of the tournament.

England have struggled with numerous injuries impacting several key players, but they still finished comfortably at the top of their group.

When is England V Colombia and how can I watch?

The quarter-final clash between the two sides is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 12 at 11.30am at the Stadium Australia in Sydney.

Coverage will kick off at 10.45am on STV and the STV Player.

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