Franco’s performances in Colombia’s Friendly Matches

By
Updated: April 1, 2015

Jose Pekerman called up 3 center backs; Pedro Franco, Jeison Murillo, and Stefan Medina for both game vs Bahrain and vs Kuwait. The Argentinean coach is looking to find a replacement for Mario Yepes. He wants to bring 4 center backs to Chile for the 2015 Copa America. At the moment, Cristian Zapata and Eder Balanta have secure their spot for the final 23 men squad. It’s between Jeison Murillo, Pedro Franco, and Stefan Medina to grab the remaining two spot. Pekerman said that the new squad is not only for the Copa America, but it is also for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, which begin in October 2015.

image

Bahrain 0-6 Colombia (Falcao 2x, Bacca, Ramos, Mojica, Renteria)

Pedro Franco played a full game against Bahrain. Colombia started the game with a formation of 4-2-2-2. The starting line-up with Ospina; Bocanegra, FRANCO Murillo, Andrade; Sanchez, Aguilar; Cuadrado, Quintero; Falcao, Bacca. Pedro Franco played behind Murillo and Bocanegra. When Colombia was attacking, the formation seemed like 3-2-3-2 with Andrade playing as left-winger. Murillo moved to the left side of the field and Bocanegra was already on the right side as he was playing right back. He didn’t have to move up because Cuadrado was already playing as right-winger. Pedro Franco playing as a solitary center back. Franco had a quiet first half because Murillo did all the work. Franco was covering Murillo from behind in case he made a mistake. At the beginning of second half, Guarin came in for Murillo and Sanchez changed his position from RDM to RCB to play next to Pedro. In this half, Pekerman decided to play a defensive and possessive game. Andrade stayed in the back when Colombia was attacking. Franco showed more confidence and tranquility. This was a positive thing because it demonstrated that he was comfortable playing with the national team. Stefan Medina came in for Carlos Sanchez. Medina made a mistake of not clearing the ball and Pedro stepped up his game to clear the ball out. Bahrain National Team was a weak team but it was a good game for the players in general because it helped them build confidence and chemistry.

Video: http://www.golcaracol.com/seleccion-colombia/mayores/articulo-328779-con-doblete-de-falcao-colombia-no-tuvo-problemas-para-golear-6-0-a-barein

image

Colombia 3-1 Kuwait (COL: Aguilar, Cardona, Falcao and KWT: Al Enezi)

Pedro Franco also played a full game against Kuwait. Colombia started the game with a formation of 4-3-3. The starting line-up with Ospina; Bocanegra, Sanchez, FRANCO, Andrade; Guarin, Aguilar, Juanfer; Cuadrado, Falcao, Bacca. Murillo was injured and Pekerman decided to play Sanchez as CB right next to Franco. It was a boring start because both teams could not open up spaces to move around. Pekerman wanted the team to play offensive and defensive in other words, play with equilibrium because Kuwait was building up plays very quickly. Therefore, Pekerman changed the formation to 4-3-1-2. Franco was a little poor in this game because he was losing multiple 1 v 1 plays with the opponent’s players. Luckily, Sanchez was there to cover his mistakes. Kuwait tied up the game and it was as a result of Franco’s and Aguilar’s mistakes. Both players had a lack of communication and did not the mark the player properly causing Al Enezi to slip through. Al Enezi took the advantage and scored the equalizer. At the beginning of second half, Franco continued to make few mistakes within the first few minutes. Then he managed to regain concentration and confidence thus improving his game. Like Franco, Colombia also regained concentration and confidence. Colombia started playing better as a team and began attacking vigorously. Cardona stepped up his game and scored a screamer, which then resulted in 2-1. Falcao made an individual play and was brought down in the area. The referee awarded a penalty to Colombia. Falcao scored his 24th goal for the national team and he equalizes Arnoldo Iguaran’s record as being the top goal scorer for the Colombian National Team.

Video: http://www.golcaracol.com/seleccion-colombia/mayores/articulo-328874-kuwait-1-3-colombia-falcao-igualo-a-iguaran-goleador-historico-de-la-tricolor

 

 

Overall, Pedro Franco had his ups and downs in both games. It is great to see that Pedro has improved a lot since the November’s game against USA in London, England. He still needs to improve a lot more to become a definite starting center back for the Colombian National Team. He is currently building up confidence, and chemistry with his teammates. Franco is a type of player that Pekerman would want to keep and use as back up center back for the future. He’s only 23 years old and still has about another 15 years. For now, it seems like Pedro Franco will not be the starting center back for the national team in the 2015 Copa America. Hopefully, I am wrong about this.

Colombia playing against two Middle Eastern teams was not about winning the games. Pekerman wanted the players to build chemistry, improve their form, and practice tactics for the Copa America. The tournament starts on June 11 and Pekerman doesn’t have a lot of time to prepare the team. He specifically said that the preparation for the Copa America is like the World Cup preparation. He is currently looking for a team to play friendly match against Colombia to continue practicing different tactics. This friendly match could possibly be held in Bogota, Colombia or in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The match will take place a week before Colombia debuts in the Copa America.

 

Prediction of the formation for the 2015 Copa America:

(4-2-2-2)

Ospina; Zuniga Zapata Murillo Armero; Sanchez Aguilar; Cuadrado James; Falcao Teofilo

 

 

Editor: Alex Guerrero

Twitter: @AlexGuerr93

Follow me

Alex Guerrero

Editor in Chief at Millonarios International
Born and raised on Long Island, New York. My goal is to work in the Sports Management/Business Administration area. I’m currently attending at Farmingdale State College. I’m majoring in Business Management. I already obtained my Associate’s Degree in Business Administration.
Alex Guerrero
Follow me