Football / World Cup USA '94: Colombia prepared for Hagi's challenge

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The Independent Online
A STRONG showing by Colombia in their opening Group A match against Romania tonight at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Los Angeles, will go a long way to proving that the South Americans can mount a serious challenge for the title. But the Romanians themselves are capable of attractive, high-quality play as they showed when beating Wales in November to qualify.

Both are stronger in attack than defence. Colombia, who like their opponents were knocked out in the second round in 1990, will pin their hopes on Carlos Valderrama and Fredy Rincon proving superior to Dorinel Munteanu and Ionut Lupescu in midfield, so providing Faustino Asprilla and Adolfo

Valencia with enough service.

For their part the Colombian defence will have their work cut out trying to stop Florin Raducioiu and Gheorghe Hagi.

Belgium are waiting for fitness reports on Marc Degryse and Lorenzo Staelens before naming their side for tomorrow's Group F match against Morocco in Orlando. Degryse has a groin strain while Staelens has found it difficult adapting to the heat and humidity.

Norway have yet to name their side for tomorrow's Group E match against Mexico in Washington but the Swindon striker Jan Fjortoft is confident he will be leading the attack. 'We have not been told of the selection yet, but I have been involved in the set-piece routines in training and am confident I will play,' he said.