Football 2 years ago

US win group after Ticos stun Colombia

  • US win group after Ticos stun Colombia

    Colombia's Marlos Moreno (out of frame) scores past Costa Rica's Patrick Pemberton during the Copa America Centenario football tournament in Houston, Texas, United States, on June 11, 2016. / AFP / NELSON ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States beat Paraguay 1-0 and advanced to the quarter-finals of the Copa America as Group A winners, after Costa Rica stunned already-qualified Colombia 3-2.

The USA, who are hosting the tournament in its 100th anniversary, will next play the second-placed team in Group B. As it stands, Brazil top that group ahead of Peru and Ecuador, with Haiti already eliminated.

USA forward Clint Dempsey converted a low cross from Gyasi Zardes in the 27th minute as the hosts had the better of the early exchanges.

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However, the Americans were reduced to 10 men shortly after halftime when right back DeAndre Yedlin received two yellow cards within a minute for aggressive tackles.

"The boys showed a lot of heart, especially after that red card," Dempsey said.

The USA looked set to fall behind in the 11th minute when Paraguay had a three-on-one break but defender John Brooks chased down Miguel Almiron to deliver a terrific sliding challenge and knock the ball out of play.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who made key saves from Jorge Benitez and Almiron in the 82nd minute, paid tribute to his defence.

"The guys in front of me were fantastic," said Guzan.

"Every now and then it's up to the goalkeeper to come up with the save and I was lucky enough to do that tonight."

In the later Group A game, Costa Rica's Johan Venegas scored in the second minute before Frank Fabra pulled Colombia level four minutes later.

Fabra turned villain in the 34th minute by scoring an own goal and Celso Borges put the Costa Ricans 3-1 up just before the hour mark.

Colombia's Marlos Moreno made it 3-2 with 17 minutes left but they could not find the equaliser.

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