Colombia Outlast Uruguay To Punch Ticket To Copa America Final


(MENAFN- IANS) Charlotte (US), July 11 (IANS) Colombia beat Uruguay 1-0 to extend their 28 game unbeaten streak and earning a place in Copa America final late on Wednesday night.

Colombia is headed to Miami Gardens to play Argentina in the Grand Final at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday while Uruguay will stay in Charlotte to play Canada at bank of America Stadium on Saturday to determine third place.

The first 10 minutes saw two juggernauts cautiously testing each other, resulting in only one shot. Colombia appeared more likely to create the first big chance, but it was Uruguay's Darwin Nunez who came close.

Nunez battled past multiple Colombian defenders in the penalty area and unleashed a powerful shot to the bottom left corner, narrowly missing. Despite several chances, the Uruguayan striker couldn't score.

After losing center back Ronald Araujo to injury against Brazil, Uruguay suffered another blow as Rodrigo Bentancur went off injured in the 35th minute with Guillermo Varela replacing him.

In the 40th minute, Colombia finally broke through as James Rodriguez's set-piece delivery leading to a headed goal. Rodriguez's whipped corner found Jefferson Lerma, who powered it into Rochet's near post.

This goal marked a milestone for Colombia's captain, as he broke Lionel Messi's record for the most assists in a single tournament edition with his sixth, giving Colombia the lead in the semifinal.

In the 45th minute, the match shifted as Daniel Munoz received a second yellow card, reducing Colombia to 10 men just before halftime.

By the 70th minute, the game became increasingly stretched. Uruguayan legend Luis Suarez, coming on as a substitute, had a great chance at the top of the box, but his shot grazed the side of the post.

In the 87th minute, Colombia's Mateus Uribe missed a one-on-one chance after a Uruguayan defensive mistake. During seven minutes of stoppage time, Uribe had another one-on-one, but Rochet made a crucial save, deflecting the shot off the bar.

Uruguay held on for the final minutes, and a last-gasp effort was blocked by a Colombian defender.

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IANS

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