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11/07/24 | 10:21 am

Copa America 2024: Colombia outlasts Uruguay to set up final clash against Argentina

James Rodriguez’s masterclass and a resolute performance from a 10-man Colombia sealed their date with Argentina in the final following a 1-0 victory over Uruguay in the Copa America semi-final.

As the final whistle blew in North Carolina’s Bank of America Stadium, Colombian players jumped in jubilation to celebrate their win that defied the odds and kept Uruguay’s high-flying attack quiet.

Their determined performance extended their unbeaten run to a team-record 28 games. Their last defeat dates back to February 2022, served to them by the opposition that awaits them in the final of the ongoing tournament on Sunday.

Uruguay had their chances to go in front throughout the 90 minutes but struggled to guide the ball into the back of the net. Liverpool’s ace Darwin Nunez attempted to side-foot the ball into the net, but his shot was a whisker away from its target in the 19th minute.

It was Rodriguez who carried the attacking threat and paved the way for Colombia to lift their first Copa America title since 2001. In front of an avid atmosphere created by ecstatic fans, he served the ball to Jefferson Lerma, who headed it into the net in the 39th minute of the game.

Despite going in front, Colombia’s task of defending their slender one-goal advantage became an intricate affair. Defender Daniel Munoz swung his elbow at Uruguay’s Manuel Ugarte, was shown a second yellow card, and was sent off the field in first-half stoppage time.

With time running out, Uruguay decided to introduce one of their most prolific strikers, Luis Suarez, into the thick of the action. In the 71st minute, he had the opportunity to bring the game back on level terms but failed to deliver in the decisive moment. Colombia struck the crossbar in the final minutes of the game, but one goal turned out to be sufficient to seal their date with Argentina in the final.

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