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Colombia Defeat Uruguay To Reach Copa America Final



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Colombia’s midfielder #10 James Rodriguez celebrates his team’s win of the Conmebol 2024 Copa America tournament semi-final football match between Uruguay and Colombia at Bank of America Stadium, in Charlotte, North Caroline on July 10, 2024

Ten-man Colombia defeated Uruguay 1-0 to reach the final of the Copa America for the first time in 23 years after an ill-tempered semi-final on Wednesday.

A 39th-minute Jefferson Lerma header sealed victory for the Colombians, who will now face holders Argentina in Sunday’s final in Miami.

The semi-final which was played in front of a packed and passionate crowd, ended with scuffles on the field and fighting in the stands, including several players who had climbed in among supporters amid the flying punches.

Colombia, despite having Daniel Munoz sent off just before the interval and facing plenty of Uruguay pressure, hung on for a famous victory to the delight of their massive following of fans.

The win was the 28th game without defeat for Colombia, setting a new record for the team.

The downtown streets of the North Carolina city were packed with partying fans in bright yellow Colombia jerseys hours before the kick-off.

Not surprisingly in such an atmosphere, Colombia started strongly with their livewire Liverpool winger Luis Diaz doing well to wriggle some space for a cross on the left, finding Daniel Munoz at the back post but the full-back’s header was off target.

Uruguay were, as always, a threat on the counter-attack and their Liverpool star, Darwin Nunez was close to finishing off one break when Rodrigo Bentancur found him with a clever pass but the forward poked his shot wide.

Nunez had another opening when Maximiliano Araujo played him clear in the inside-right channel but the striker rushed his shot, blasting high and wide.

At the other end, Colombia forced a turnover which led to James Rodriguez curling in a cross from the right but Jhon Cordoba’s header was off target.

– Lerma breakthrough –

The breakthrough came in the 39th minute when Lerma rose majestically above Jose Gimenez and powerfully headed home Rodriguez’s corner.

It was the sixth assist of the tournament for Rodriguez with the former Real Madrid midfielder beating the record for most assists in a single Copa, which was set by Lionel Messi in 2021.

Colombia looked to make the most of their momentum with Richard Rios forcing a save out of Uruguay keeper Sergio Rochet, after being played in by Munoz.

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