Football 1 year ago

Colombia finish third at Copa America

  • Colombia finish third at Copa America

    GLENDALE, AZ - JUNE 25: Carlos Bacca #7 of Colombia celebrates his first half goal ahead of Matt Besler #5 of United States during the 2016 Copa America Centenario third place match at University of Phoenix Stadium on June 25, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Carlos Bacca's first-half goal was enough to give Colombia a 1-0 victory over the US in the third-place playoff at the Copa America in Arizona.

The winning goal came after half an hour when Colombia forged a well-worked move down the right with Juan Cuadrado slipping the ball inside to James Rodriguez, who chipped forward for Santiago Arias to head across goal for Bacca to slide home on Saturday (Sunday AEST).

Colombia finished third, their highest finish since 2001, while the host nation took fourth place, matching their best ever finish in the tournament.

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The title will be decided on Sunday when favourites Argentina take on defending champions Chile in New Jersey.

The third-place playoff is traditionally an opportunity for teams to give their second-string players a chance to shine but neither coach made widespread changes as they went all-out for the win at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

"We had good chances and we played well, but I think there are no excuses," US goalkeeper Tim Howard said.

The first half was poor, with Bacca's goal giving Colombia a deserved lead at the break, but things perked up in the second half as the host nation pressed for an equaliser and their first win over Colombia in four Copa clashes.

Clint Dempsey had a free kick tipped over by David Ospina after 51 minutes and then both sides hit the woodwork in a matter of seconds.

Cuadrado's chip from outside the box bounced down off the bar and back into play and then Bobby Wood smacked the post with a shot at the other end.

The US enjoyed a bulk of the possession in the second period but rarely threatened Ospina.

The match came to a boil with two minutes remaining when Colombian right back Arias brushed his head against Michael Orozco, who retaliated with a push in the face and both men were sent off.

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