Report: Uruguay vs Colombia, Colombia go through via a penalty shootout

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The clash between Uruguay and Columbia was one of the more evenly matched games in the day. Both teams came into the match after scoring far fewer goals than expected in their group stages. The game ended goalless after normal time and was decided on a penalty shootout. David Ospina made two saves in the penalty shootout to take his side to the semi-final. The game ended Uruguay 0(2)- 0(4) Colombia.

 

 

Although both teams have incredible firepower in their line-ups, neither created any meaningful chances in the game’s opening minutes. The ball was just shuffling feet for most of the half with the two teams struggling to retain possession for prolonged periods. Los Cafeteros was the more energetic of the two sides while Uruguay was the more organized.

 

 

Uruguay was unable to get the ball to Suarez and Cavani higher up the field and made no clear chances. Colombia also suffered a similar fate but Zapata’s strength and pace started to become a nuisance for Diego Godin and men. Colombia’s first real chance came well past the half-an-hour mark when Zapata brilliantly turned with the ball on the edge of the penalty box. However, the Uruguayan defence stuck with him and somehow cleared the ball away from danger.

Zapata was the most dangerous player on the field in the opening half that featured fewer chances than expected. His pace and strength were opening up the Uruguay defence and created yet another chance for Colombia. A brisk run on the far left near the byline was followed by an attempted shot but it was cleared. The loose ball fell kindly for Muriel who struck a thunderbolt of a strike, but it soared wide of Muslera’s post, much to the relief of Uruguay.

END TO END

The second half kicked off with much more promise than the first. Colombia was the better team in the opening half but Uruguay came out revitalized in the second half. Both Uruguay and Colombia came on intending to find the opening goal. The ball was pinging from one end to another. Neither defence had enough time to organise themselves as counter-attacks and counter-counter chances took precedence.

 

 

Uruguay created more chances 15 minutes into the second half than they did in the entirety of the first half.  Nandez’s cross came closest to going in but Ospina was sharp enough to guide the ball away from his post. The best chance came just around the 70 minute-mark when Zapata’s header was denied by the Uruguayan keeper from close range.

Both teams kept driving at each other but were never really close to scoring. They did not convince in the final third and never really tested the keepers. There was no shortage of energy even during the dying minutes of the ninety and neither team looked like they wanted to head towards a penalty shootout. But despite their best efforts, neither team found any success in finding a route through to the goal.

PENALTY SHOOTOUT

This was the second penalty shootout in the quarter-finals and it was all up to the two keepers. Only one team could go through to the semi-finals and spot-kicks were to settle this affair. Atalanta’s Zapata took the first penalty for Colombia. He was the star man for his country on the day and he wasn’t going to mess it up with a poor penalty. Cavani stepped up next and made it 1-1.

 

 

Sanchez slotted in the next one for Colombia making it 2-1. Ospina then went onto give Colombia the advantage by smartly getting his fist to the next penalty. Mina made it 3-1 for Columbia and Suarez did not let his nerves get to him as he made it 3-2. Borja tucked it calmy to make it 4-2. Colombia’s captain was the hero of the day as he saved Vina’s goal to take Columbia through to the semi-final.

LACK OF CREATIVITY

Strength, pace, skill and technicality were in abundance throughout the game. Uruguay and Colombia had a four-man defence and four midfielders in front of them, albeit in a different shape. Both teams also featured a two-man striker partnership. and Edison Cavani are two of the most feared strikers in world football. However, ’s presence was hardly ever felt in the first half. Cavani had more touches than his partner but most of it was in the middle of the park.

 

 

Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel were more involved for their side in their first half but did not create any clear-cut chances either. Both set of strikers were lacking a creative touch. The midfield wasn’t offering any sort of creative balls for their talented attackers to latch onto.

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