The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup soccer tournament has reached the make-or-break stage. It's "win or go home" time for the eleven teams still standing in the quadrennial event.
The United States women's national team gets its first knockout test Monday night against Colombia in Edmonton, Alberta. The Colombians defeated France, tied with Mexico, and lost by a goal to England in Group F play.
They are led in scoring by Lady Andrade, who has two goals so far in this year's World Cup.
Aside from skill on the pitch, another important component of "Las Chicas Superpoderosas" (translated "The Supergirls," per FIFA.com) reaching the round of 16, they say, is their team psychologist to help with the mental part of the game.
“It’s only 90 minutes on the pitch but it’s years of training, sacrifice and dreams, and the dreams here are big, as are the goals. It’s all a question of working hard and being intelligent," Colombian head coach Fabien Taborda said to FIFA.com.
For the Americans, reaching the knockout stage was expected. They gave up just one goal in their first three matches, winning a pair sandwiched around a scoreless tie with Sweden.
Midfielder Megan Rapinoe continues to be the top US goal scorer in this tournament with two. Veteran striker Abby Wambach had the lone goal in the group clincher against Nigeria.
Despite advancing, expectations are greater for this talented squad.
"We know that we can be better. We know individually that we all can be better, there's more in us. Which is great," US midfielder Carli Lloyd told ESPN.com. "That's the most exciting thing; that we know we can push on and give more."
There is some history between the US and Colombian squads. Back in the 2012 London Olympics, the action between the two teams became aggressive to the point that Andrade struck Wambach in the face during a match that the US won, 3-0, on their way to the gold medal.
The winner will face China in the quarterfinals. The Chinese edged Cameroon, 1-0, Saturday, ending the African nation's first foray into the Women's World Cup tournament.
The US-Colombia match will start at 8 p.m. Eastern time Monday. You can watch it on cable TV at Fox Sports 1.
The other knockout game Monday will feature England and Norway. That match precedes the US and Colombia and will start at 5 p.m. Eastern in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. Fox Sports 1 will also broadcast this game.