Thursday, July 25, 2024

Brazil 1-1 Colombia: Stuttering Selecao seal Copa America quarter-final spot

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 Jul 2024

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Brazil joined Colombia in the Copa America quarter-finals, but they were denied top spot in Group D after a nervy 1-1 draw in San Francisco.

Raphinha’s stunning free-kick after just 12 minutes was cancelled out by Daniel Munoz in first-half stoppage time, as the spoils were shared at Levi’s Stadium.

The draw was enough for the Selecao to secure second place in Group D – one point ahead of Costa Rica, who beat Paraguay 2-1 – though it came at a cost, with Vinicius Junior collecting a second yellow card in three games to rule him out of their last-eight clash with Uruguay.

Meanwhile, having held onto top spot with seven points from their three games, Nestor Lorenzo’s Colombia will take on Group C runners-up Panama in the last eight.

Los Cafeteros went close with a 25-yard free-kick in the eighth minute, when skipper James Rodriguez clipped the top of Alisson’s crossbar.

Raphinha went one better from a similar distance four minutes later, with goalkeeper Camilo Vargas only able to help his fierce delivery into his top-left corner.

It was the first goal Colombia had conceded in the first half of a match since their 3-2 win over Mexico last December, but they responded well.

Davinson Sanchez’s header was rightly ruled out for offside, before the equaliser arrived in the second additional minute of the first half. James fizzed the ball into Jhon Cordoba, who neatly threaded it through for Munoz to fire past Alisson.

Colombia continued to carry the greater attacking threat after the break and almost completed the turnaround with six minutes remaining, when substitute Rafael Borre fired over from six yards out.

At the other end, it took Vargas’ smart reflex save to tip Andreas Pereira’s effort over and prevent Brazil from snatching top spot with a dramatic last-gasp winner, as they joined their opponents in the last eight.

Selecao stutter into knockout stages, and must do without Vinicius

The nine-time champions have progressed beyond the Copa America group stage for the 14th time in their last 15 appearances.

And by avoiding defeat, the Selecao have also equalled their longest unbeaten streak in the opening phase at this tournament of 10 matches (also achieving the feat between 1993 and 1999).

However, Dorival will be concerned by his side’s lack of sharpness in front of goal, with just three shots on target and an xG of 0.31 across the 90 minutes.

And they will head into a tricky quarter-final tie with Uruguay, who are fresh from winning all three of their Group C matches, without the suspended Vinicius.

Although, similarly to his nation’s opener against Costa Rica, the Real Madrid forward flattered to deceive here with his tallies of 28 touches and 13 passes the lowest by any player appearing for the duration of the contest.

It was his fellow winger Raphinha who took centre with his superb free-kick breaking the deadlock. Ironically, three of Brazil’s last four goals from free-kicks have come against Colombia.

Stubborn Colombia’s unbeaten streak continues

Colombia have finished third in two of the last three editions of the Copa America, and they will be confident of embarking on another deep run this time around.

One thing is for certain; Lorenzo’s side will be difficult to beat at the business end of this tournament.

Despite seeing a 10-game winning streak come to an end today – while their wait for successive victories over Brazil goes on – Los Cafeteros are now unbeaten in each of their last 26 matches.

They had won each of their three previous games when conceding the opening goal, and that determination was evident once more as they responded yet again.

Munoz’s strike was their fourth goal in the last 15 minutes of the first half at this year’s Copa America; more than any other side has registered. Next up for them, Panama in Arizona.

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