Colombia ended their Copa America Centenario campaign on a high after seeing off hosts the United States 1-0 in
Saturday’s third-place play-off.
Following unsuccessful semi-final fixtures, Carlos Bacca scored the only goal of the match in the 31st minute in Arizona
as Colombia recorded their best performance at the Copa America since they won South America’s premier tournament in
Bacca netted his 13th international goal after scrambling the ball into the net from close range following a stunning
throughball from captain James Rodriguez in a rematch of the Centenario curtain-raiser, which Jose Pekerman and Co. won
2-0 earlier this month.
USA did have their chances, with Bobby Wood going close and Clint Dempsey’s set-piece forcing Colombia goalkeeper David
Ospina into a fine save.
Both teams finished the clash with 10 men, following late red cards to Michael Orozco and Santiago Arias.
Jurgen Klinsmann made six changes in the wake of the 4-0 drubbing to Argentina, a couple enforced as John Brooks and
Fabian Johnson succumbed to injuries with Matt Besler and Orozco their replacements. Jermaine Jones, Bobby Wood and
Alejandro Bedoya returned from suspension at the expense of Graham Zusi, Chris Wondolowski and Kyle Beckerman, while
veteran keeper Tim Howard made his first appearance of the tournament.
Colombia, meanwhile, reinstated Bacca and Guillermo Celis as Roger Martinez and Carlos Sanchez made way following the 2
-0 semi-final defeat to defending champions Chile.
USA controlled most of the play from midfield early but Colombia looked more threatening in attack, highlighted in the
14th minute after a probing delivery from Arias forced Geoff Cameron into a diving headed clearance inside the six-yard
Colombia continued to threaten as USA had their first real clear opening after Dempsey’s shot was scrambled away by the
last-ditch Cristian Zapata.
The deadlock was eventually broken just past the half-hour mark thanks to Bacca, though James’ throughball in the lead-
up stole the show.
A clever chip over the top from James picked out Arias and the full-back headed the ball across the six-yard box to
Bacca, who sliced the ball into the net on the goal line.