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Colombia labored to the semifinal of the Copa America as they beat Uruguay 4-2 on penalties after the game ended 0-0 after 90 minutes of uninspiring football. Rivaldo Rueda’s men despite missing their star player Juan Cuadrado held their nerves to force a penalty shootout. They go onto set a meeting with the winner of the clash between Argentina and Ecuador. Oscar Tabarez’s Uruguay succumb to another quarter-final exit on penalties.

Estadio Nacional de Brasilia hosted the clash between both sides who fell at the quarters last time around on penalties. Considering the attacking talents both sides had, a decent goal return was expected from the game. Instead the first half was a dull goal-less affair. Both teams were rusty in front of the goal and didn’t muster big opportunities.

The second half was no better as it didn’t produce any magic. By the time we entered the final quarter of the game, it was anyone’s game. It looked like a mistake is what it takes from either side to open the scoring. They chose to take it to the penalty lottery as no risk was taken late in the game.

This proved to be fateful for Uruguay as their demons came back to haunt them. David Ospina on a record-breaking night made two key saves from Gimenez and Vina to send Colombia through to the semis.


Uruguay started the tournament in the worst way possible as they picked up only one point after two games. However, they recovered themselves as they beat Bolivia and Paraguay in their final two group games to progress to the knockouts. Colombia’s story went in the exact reverse direction as they started their tournament with four points in two games. Despite losing their next two games they made it to the quarters. Both Colombia and Uruguay were boasting an assured defence.

Both sides made a single change coming into the game. A pragmatic approach was chosen by both sides as they played a waiting game. A dour half of football saw neither goalkeeper tested. There was an appalling lack of quality in the final third as several passes were misplaced. The teams looked rusty without match practice and produced a horrible performance in the quarters. They settled for penalties way before the final whistle and made substitutions accordingly.


We had to wait till the first penalty to see the net bulge in the game. Colombia won the toss and chose to shoot first. They knew the trend of the side shooting first going onto win. Duvan Zapata who came close in regulation time converted his spot-kick perfectly and was matched by Edinson Cavani shortly.

In a shootout between two centre-backs, Davinson Sanchez came on top. The Spurs defender slotted it past Muslera while Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez had a tame penalty saved by Ospina. For the first time after 95 minutes, either side had an advantage in the game. Colombia held their nerves to convert again.

Leading 3-2 already, David Ospina made a crucial save from Matthias Vina to win the tie for Colombia. Ospina celebrated becoming the highest capped player for Colombia with those key saves in the shootout.


This might possibly be the last tournament for Oscar Tabazrez as the head coach of Uruguay. The legendary tactician has guided them to the title in 2011. But now it seems like his best days are past him. He is failing to inspire the Uruguayan things into fulfilling their full potential.

Despite possessing an energetic midfield in Fede Valverde, Rodrigo Bentancur Uruguay only depend on Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani for goals. Of the four goals scored by Uruguay Cavani and Suarez scored three between themselves as the fourth was an own goal from an opponent. With their famed strikers aging by day they need others to step up. Tabarez has been wonderful for Uruguay all these years. but he has to go before next year’s WorldCup as they have to get someone to get the best out of their midfield.


Juan Cuadrado might be a full-back by trade for Juventus. But when he dons the yellow for Colombia he becomes an attacking winger crucial to his side’s chances and noy was he missed against Uruguay. He embraces the role perfectly and puts tireless shifts between attack and defence.

As James Rodriguez was surprisingly excluded from the Colombian squad the onus fell on Cuadrado to be their main man. He was expected to provide service to their forwards Zapata and Muriel. Cuadrado stepped up duly with his performances. However, he was booked for the second time in the game against Brazil and was handed a one-match suspension. He was made to sit out this clash against Uruguay. He was made to watch from the bench painfully as his side failed to create chances. Colombia would consider themselves lucky as they triumphed on penalties and can have Cuadrado’s back in the semis once again.


James Rodriguez is a national treasure of Colombia. The Everton attacking midfielder is one of the best players the nation has ever produced. He rose to meteoric fame at the 2014 World Cup by winning the golden boot. He made a move of his dreams to Real Madrid. Though things didn’t turn out as expected James had a decent European adventure, winning trophies.

He made his move to Everton following his favorite manager Carlo Ancelotti. James had a blistering start to his career on Merseyside. Slowly the season succumbed to familiar setbacks in injuries and loss of form. Though James ended the season on a better note he was ignored by the national team.

Citing James was not up to full match fitness James was released from the national squad. It came as a shocking decision considering James’ importance to the national team. Without their main creative force, they struggled at the tournament. Colombia failed to pick the lock of defences sitting deep and depended only on counterattacks, even against Uruguay, who looked to take them on. They must hope that they won’t have any difficulties in picking the lock in their semis.




The Napoli goalkeeper was a key player for his country for many years. As a result, he has added cap after cap to his collection. Ospina became Colombia’s joint-most cap holder with Carlos Valderrama with 11 caps. Tonight he created history with 112 caps to his name.

The 32-year-old celebrated the evening in style by keeping a clean sheet in the regulation time. He was rarely tested by Uruguay in Colombia goal, except for some occasional crossing and long balls. In the penalty shootouts, he made his presence felt. He doves to his right to deny Gimenez first up. Again he guessed Mina’s penalty and dove to his left to win the clash for his side. Some style to celebrate a historic performance eh?

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