Voz media US Voz.us

Copa América: Colombia makes history, eliminates Uruguay and will meet Argentina in the final

This time the Colombian National Team felt more like fighting than playing, defending tooth and nail the goal scored by Jefferson Lerma with a header in the 38th minute.

Colombia's captain and number 10, James RodriguezAFP

Colombia narrowly defeated Uruguay 1-0 in a tense duel and will play the final of the Copa America USA 2024 on Sunday against Argentina, which defends the continental title and seeks the triple crown.

In addition to having clinched a spot in the decisive match on Sunday at Miami's Hard Rock Stadium, the Cafetero team garnered additional accolades on Wednesday by achieving a record 28 matches without defeat, 25 of them under its current coach, Argentine Nestor Lorenzo.

Colombia, which this time felt more like fighting than playing, defended tooth and nail the minimal lead achieved by Jefferson Lerma with a header in the 38th minute, but even more so after Daniel Muñoz was sent off at 45+1.

In any case, the Colombian team maintained great form. With the help of James Rodríguez, Richard Ríos, Jhon Arias and Luis Díaz, Lorenzo's team was able to create some great soccer moments against a Uruguayan team that was held in check for several periods of the match.

Despite being dominated, Marcelo Bielsa's sky-blue team continued to push with their heads held high, but was not effective at turning the game around. They will now play against Canada in the match for third place on Saturday at the same venue where they lost on Wednesday, the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

An aimless Uruguay 

With ten players, the Colombian team withdrew and bet on the counterattack led by Luis Diaz and a hardworking Jhon Cordoba, while Uruguay tilted the field in their favor creating some clear openings that did not materialize into a goal by high-scoring Darwin Nunez and Luis Suarez, who sent a shot to the post just minutes after having entered the field of play.

Uruguay had suffered a heavy physical toll against Brazil in the quarterfinals and that conspired against them during the final push against Colombia.

At the end of the match, the tension moved to the stands where there were relatives of the Uruguayan players who, according to captain Josema Giménez, were assaulted by some supporters of the Colombian team.

It was also possible to see some Uruguayan players exchanging blows with the Colombian fans. These actions were described by coach Bielsa as "truly regrettable".

Going for the triple crown

After eliminating Canada on Tuesday, Argentina arrives at the final in Miami with the goal of achieving the so-called triple crown, after winning the Copa America 2021 and the World Cup in Qatar 2022, which so far only Spain has won (Euro-2008, World Cup-2010 and Euro-2012).

In the defining duel, star player Lionel Messi broke the curse and made his debut in the net in this Copa América against Canada, in the 52nd minute. Earlier, midfielder Julián Alvarez, in the 23rd minute, had started things off and, after several ups and downs, had settled into consistent play.

With that goal, Messi equaled Peru's Paolo Guerrero and Chile's Eduardo Vargas as the Copa America's top active scorers with 14 goals.

"I'm living it like I lived it in the last Copa America, in the last World Cup (...). These are the last battles and I'm enjoying them to the fullest," Messi, 37, stressed.

On Sunday, Argentina will play its sixth Copa América final of this century, although it has only won one title out of the five decisive matches it has played so far in that time.

In any case, in 2021, the Argentine captain made amends for a 28-year drought without victory: at the Maracana against their historic rivals, Brazil, who also hosted the event, and a year later he won the top prize at the World Cup in Qatar.

Miami will also be a match between the Argentine coaches of the respective teams: Néstor Lorenzo versus Lionel Scaloni, two coaches with similar traits and little previous experience when taking the reins of major national teams.