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Lorenzo eases James injury fears after Colombia seal Copa America progress

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Jun 2024

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Nestor Lorenzo allayed any concerns over James Rodriguez’s fitness after Colombia’s 3-0 victory over Costa Rica at the Copa America.

Colombia made light work of Costa Rica at State Farm Stadium on Friday, securing their progression from Group D in the process.

A point in Colombia’s final group match, against Brazil, will ensure they finish ahead of the Selecao, who are all but through after hammering Paraguay 4-1.

James was hugely influential for Lorenzo’s team, creating a game-leading five chances and providing an exquisite assist for Jhon Cordoba to slot in and make it 3-0 in the 62nd minute following earlier goals from Luis Diaz and Davinson Sanchez.

The former Real Madrid playmaker was taken off in the 72nd minute, but coach Lorenzo said it was a precaution.

“James is fine,” Lorenzo told the media. “He wanted to continue, but thinking of what is coming, it seemed prudent to change him.”

James, who was left out of Colombia’s squad in 2021, has already registered three assists across his two matches at this edition of the Copa America.

Since such data has been recorded (from 2011), only Lionel Messi has set up more goals in a single edition of the tournament (five in 2021, four in 2016).

Colombia have now gone 25 matches without defeat (20 wins, five draws), marking the second-longest unbeaten streak in their history, behind a 27-match run (13 wins, 14 draws) between 1992 and 1994.

“I think we have played good games against great rivals,” Lorenzo added, after seeing Colombia record their 11th win over Costa Rica from what was a 14th meeting.

“There was a more pronounced and continued dominance. The boys played a great game.”

Should they seal top spot in Group D, Colombia are likely to avoid going up against Marcelo Bielsa’s in-form Uruguay in the last eight.

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