Copa America: Bacca winner downs hosts to fourth spot

The goal was Bacca’s second of the tournament; his first also being against USA in Colombia’s 2-0 victory in the opener. 

USA started the match on a bright note having Bobby Wood, Alejandro Bedoya and Jermaine Jones back in the squad after facing suspension in the semi-final against Argentina but it was Colombia who produced the first real chance of the game in the 11th minute. James Rodriguez struck well but Tim Howard denied the Real Madrid midfielder with a good strong save. 

The game had good pace and momentum from the very beginning with Colombia and USA both going deep into each other’s halves. In the 14th minute, Colombia pulled off some good movement and an important intervention from Cameron stopped the Colombians’ race forward. Just a minute later, Zapata made an important block on the other side when a good ball came in for Dempsey in front of the goal. 

It seemed like a day for counter-attack as just after DeAndre Yedlin shot was blocked by Ospina, Colombia hit back on a counter in the 31st minute. James Rodriguez put a delightful through ball over the US back line to Santiago Arias on the right and he headed the ball across towards Bacca perfectly who tapped the ball in. Just a few minutes later, US hit back with Yedlin finding Jones in the box but his shot was blocked by Zapata’s arm and Bedoya’s follow up went wide. 

USA kept building pressure on Colombia as in the last 5 minutes of the first half, USA created many chances for themselves but Colombia somehow survived them all and American prayers went unanswered. 

Just five minutes into the second half, Dempsey shot a fabulous free kick to the top right corner to which Ospina stretched fully and responded with a spectacular save. 

Subsequently, Colombia looked to thrive again with some good movement but the efforts of Fabian and James went wide and didn’t trouble Howard, who got his first Copa America start with this game. As the clock struck the half hour mark, Cuadrado pulled through a wonderful strike but unfortunate for him and Colombia, it hit the crossbar.

 Immediately in the next minute, the same happened with Wood when he did excellent work in the box to beat Zapata but his shot hit the post.  Eventually both USA and Colombia did build up well but the end result remained the same with the ball unable to reach the back of the net. 

The game was marred with ugliness towards the end when Michael Orozco and Santiago Arias were both sent off for a confrontation in the stoppage time. 

After a goal drought against Argentina, USA failed to find the net yet again as the hosts settled for the fourth place while Colombia earned some consolation after their loss to Chile in the semi-final and won the third place in the Copa America Centenario.
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