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Colombia 1-0 Uruguay (Jul 10, 2024) Game Analysis – ESPN



Colombia 1-0 Uruguay (Jul 10, 2024) Game Analysis – ESPN

James Rodríguez served up his sixth assist of the tournament to help 10-man Colombia beat Uruguay 1-0 in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday to set up a Copa América final against Argentina, before the night descended into chaos as players clashed with fans.

Argentina beat Canada 2-0 in the first semifinal on Tuesday to book their place in Sunday’s final in Miami Gardens, Florida. 

Victory for Colombia on Wednesday meant they extended their unbeaten run to a team-record 28 games, dating back to a loss to Argentina in February 2022.

In a contentious match that included seven yellow cards and one red, players from both teams pushed and shoved in a scrum on the field at the final whistle. Darwin Núñez and about a dozen Uruguay teammates then went into the stands as fans brawled. A video showed Núñez hitting a fan in Colombian team colours.

Jefferson Lerma scored the only goal in front of a fervent and overwhelmingly pro-Colombia crowd of 70,644 at Bank of America Stadium when he headed in a deep corner from James in the 39th minute.

James becomes the first South American player with six assists at a single major tournament since Pelé for Brazil at the 1970 World Cup.

James Rodríguez was again Colombia’s inspiration in their semifinal win over Uruguay.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Colombia’s task of maintaining their advantage was complicated when defender Daniel Muñoz was sent off in first-half stoppage time after receiving a second yellow card for swinging an elbow at Uruguay’s Manuel Ugarte. Muñoz received his first yellow card from Mexican referee César Ramos in the 31st minute for a reckless slide tackle on Maximiliano Araújo.

Liverpool striker Darwin Núñez failed to take advantage of multiple first-half opportunities, with Colombia goalkeeper Camilo Vargas not having to make his first save until he stopped Nicolás de la Cruz‘s attempt in the 68th minute.

Substitute Luis Suárez, Uruguay’s career leader with 68 goals, hit the outside of a post with a shot in the 71st as Uruguay struggled to find a breakthrough against the 10 men.

Colombia’s Mateus Uribe, another second-half sub, put an open shot wide in the 88th, and Uribe’s open shot in the fourth minute of stoppage time ricocheted off the body of sliding goalkeeper Sergio Rochet then the crossbar.

But one goal proved enough for Colombia to reach their third Copa América final and first since winning their only title as hosts in 2001.

After the game, videos showed Uruguay players wading into the stands to exchange blows with Colombia fans as police personnel tried to keep the two sides apart.

Uruguay captain Jose Maria Gimenez said the players were trying to defend their families.

“Let me say something before they cut you off because they won’t let us speak into the microphone, they don’t want me to say anything about what’s going on but this is a disaster,” Gimenez said on the official broadcast. “Please be careful, our families are in the stands, there are little newborn babies. It was a disaster; there was no police and we had to defend our families.

Argentina are seeking a record 16th Copa América title and looking to join Spain as the only countries to win three straight major titles.

Wednesday’s match was played in 90-degree heat on a surface that was converted from artificial turf to grass in the weeks leading up to the contest.

Uruguay will face Canada in the third-place playoff on Saturday.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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