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Colombia secured their place in the Copa América final with a narrow 1-0 victory over Uruguay, thanks to a first-half header from Jefferson Lerma. This win marks a significant achievement for Néstor Lorenzo’s men, who have now extended their unbeaten run to an impressive 28 matches (22 wins, 6 draws). The match, which saw their play the entire second half with ten men, was a testament to their resilience and tactical discipline.

A Positive Start for Colombia

Colombia entered the semi-final with high confidence, having comfortably defeated Panama in the quarter-finals. From the outset, they looked to impose themselves on Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay. Daniel Muñoz, Colombia’s right-back, had an early opportunity to open the scoring but directed his header wide of the far post. This early chance set the tone for a high-energy encounter, with both teams eager to seize control.

Uruguay’s Growing Threat

As the first half progressed, Uruguay began to find their rhythm. The dynamic Darwin Núñez was particularly active, creating several opportunities. Despite his efforts, Núñez struggled to convert these chances into goals, missing the target twice from promising positions on the edge of the box. His performance highlighted the potential threat Uruguay posed, even as Colombia continued to press forward.

Lerma’s Decisive Header

The breakthrough came six minutes before halftime. James Rodríguez delivered a precise inswinging corner, which Jefferson Lerma met with a powerful header into the bottom corner of the net. This goal provided Colombia with a crucial advantage and underscored the effectiveness of their set-piece routines. However, their celebrations were cut short when Daniel Muñoz received a second yellow card just before halftime for a reckless elbow on Manuel Ugarte. This dismissal meant Colombia would face a challenging second half with ten men.

Uruguay’s Numerical Advantage

With a numerical advantage, Uruguay looked to dominate the second half. They pressed forward with intensity, seeking to capitalize on their extra man. Despite their efforts, clear-cut chances were hard to come by, as Colombia’s defense remained resolute. Jhon Córdoba nearly doubled Colombia’s lead with a close-range header, but Uruguay’s defense held firm.

Suárez’s Impact

In a bid to find the equalizer, Marcelo Bielsa introduced Luis Suárez, Uruguay’s record goalscorer, with 25 minutes remaining. Suárez almost made an immediate impact, hitting the post from a Cristian Olivera cutback. This near miss galvanized Uruguay, who continued to push for a goal as time ran out. However, Colombia’s defense, led by their determined rearguard, managed to withstand the pressure.

Late Drama and Colombian Resilience

The final minutes of the match were tense, with Uruguay desperately searching for an equalizer. Giorgian de Arrascaeta had Uruguay’s best chance in the dying moments, but his shot soared over the bar. Colombia’s defense, having faced relentless pressure, held firm to secure their place in the final. This victory marks Colombia’s first Copa América final since they lifted the trophy in 2001.

Luis Diaz for Colombia

Looking Ahead to the Final

Colombia’s journey to the final has been marked by tactical discipline, resilience, and moments of individual brilliance. Their ability to maintain composure and effectiveness, even when down to ten men, speaks volumes about the team’s character and preparation. As they look ahead to the final against Argentina, Colombia will draw confidence from their recent performances and their unbeaten streak. The final promises to be a thrilling encounter, with both teams showcasing some of the best talent in South American football.

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Uruguay’s Next Challenge

For Uruguay, the semi-final defeat is a bitter pill to swallow. However, they have an opportunity to end their tournament on a positive note when they face Canada in the third-place play-off. Uruguay’s campaign has been a mix of highs and lows, and a win in their final match would provide a silver lining to their Copa América journey. Marcelo Bielsa will likely reflect on the missed opportunities against Colombia and seek to rectify them against Canada.

Image source: Liverpool fc


Colombia’s 1-0 victory over Uruguay in the Copa América semi-final was a hard-fought and well-deserved triumph. Jefferson Lerma’s decisive header, combined with Colombia’s defensive resilience, secured their place in the final. As they prepare to face Argentina, Colombia will aim to build on their impressive form and claim their second Copa América title. Meanwhile, Uruguay will focus on finishing their tournament strongly in the third-place play-off against Canada. This Copa América has been a showcase of skill, determination, and passion, and the final promises to deliver even more excitement.

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By Abdulkadir Salim

Abdulkadir Salim Is content writer for Liverpool FC Times

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