Colombia’s bronze-medal finish at the Copa America Centenario was satisfying for coach Jose Pekerman, who believes the South Americans are edging closer to silverware.
Carlos Bacca’s 31st-minute goal gave Colombia a 1-0 victory over hosts the United States in Saturday’s third-place play-off in Phoenix.
Bacca’s sliced effort just past the half-hour mark was enough as Colombia recorded their best performance at the Copa America since they won the tournament in 2001 – their only international triumph.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Pekerman said: “Being on the podium is good. Ratify the mentality that the group has.
“The more times we can get to these stages, the closer we are to win titles.
“It is very positive growth of the boys.”
Colombia missed out on a spot in Sunday’s final after losing 2-0 to defending champions Chile.
FIFA’s third-ranked team, Colombia, won their opening matches against USA and Paraguay before surrendering top spot in Group A following a loss to Costa Rica, though they rebounded in the quarter-finals by prevailing over Peru in a shoot-out.
“They have to understand what international competition is about and the balance,” Pekerman said.
“We are in the play-offs and have seen the ups and downs of the different teams.”
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