Costa Rica bowed out of Copa America 2016 with their heads held high as they defeated Colombia 3-2 in a thrilling Group A clash at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Saturday.
Colombia had already qualified for the knock-out stage with two consecutive victories against USA and Paraguay. USA secured the top spot in Group A as they won their final group stage encounter against Paraguay on Saturday, leaving Colombia at the second spot on goal difference.
Costa Rica had nothing to lose and started on a full attacking mode with Venegas giving them an early lead in the 2nd minute.
Venegas controlled a long ball and rushed towards the Colombian defense where he deceived Aguilar with a swift turn, before thumping a powerful strike from outside the box to the top right corner.
Frank Fabra scored the equaliser for Colombia from a brilliant solo effort in the sixth minute to bring Pekerman’s side back into the game. Fabra ran down the left wing leaving behind three Costa Rican defenders, before lodging in a decisive right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal to beat Patrick Pemberton.
A disastrous own goal from Fabra put Costa Rica back into the lead in the 34th minute. A cheeky nutmeg effort from Vanegas allowed him to rush forward and whip in a quick cross which took a touch from Fabra before going into his own net at the far post.
Pekerman brought in James Rodriguez at halftime to bring things back in control and avoid a defeat which could place them against Brazil in the quarterfinals.
However Costa Rica continued their domination after the restart with repeated attacks down the flanks and Borges doubled their lead in the 57th minute. Oviedo rushed down the flank and weaved a clinical cross to find Borges, who lodged a first time strike from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.
Colombia reduced the deficit in the 73rd minute and all thanks to an incredible finish from Moreno. Substitute Cuadrado delivered a well-timed cross to set up Moreno, who pulled off a lovely low finish from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner to beat Pemberton.
Colombia came close to scoring the much needed equaliser in the dying minutes but lacked the finish. A rock solid Colombian back-line managed to defend their lead and restrict Colombia from finishing at the top in Group A.