Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Uruguay 0-1 Colombia: Dogged Cafeteros dig in to reach Copa America final

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Jul 2024

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Ten-man Colombia held firm as they edged past Uruguay 1-0 to book their place in the Copa America final.

The in-form team looked up to their usual tricks as Jefferson Lerma scored the winner in the first half, but they had to work hard to keep their impressive unbeaten streak alive.

Daniel Munoz’s sending off on the stroke of half-time put Colombia under pressure, but they thrived under it, nullifying Uruguay’s late attempts to salvage a result in North Carolina.

Chasing just their second-ever Copa America title, Los Cafeteros will play defending champions Argentina in the final on Sunday.

The tournament’s highest scorers started brightly, with Munoz thumping a powerful header just wide of Sergio Rochet’s post for Colombia.

However, the tide soon turned, and Darwin Nunez arguably should have had a first-half hat-trick as he missed a flurry of golden chances.

Twice he fired wide of Camilo Vargas’ right post, sending the goalkeeper scrambling with the first as it flew inches wide, before lifting a third just over the crossbar from the edge of the box.

Colombia soon showed their threat from set-pieces though, with Lerma rising high to nod in a corner from James Rodriguez, who got his record-breaking sixth assist of the tournament.

Munoz received his marching orders shortly after, having received a first booking for a sliding tackle on Maximiliano Araujo, he then foolishly elbowed Manuel Ugarte in the chest, leaving the referee no choice but to send him off.

Luis Suarez was given 25 minutes to make an impact in the second half and was inches away from doing so – unmarked on the edge of the box, he rattled the post after putting his laces through a powerful shot.

Moments later, Federico Valverde sneakily tried to beat Vargas with a low strike into the bottom-left corner, but could only drill it wide of the target.

Kevin Castano had two glorious chances to secure the victory for Colombia in the dying minutes; he fired wide with the first, but was unlucky with the second as a big save by Rochet sent his effort onto the crossbar.

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