SANTA CLARA — Two first half goals by Cristian Zapata and James Rodriguez propelled Colombia to a crucial win in the first game of the much anticipated Copa America Centenario.
Let’s take a look at the keys of the game
- Early punch
It only took Colombia eight minutes to take the lead after a great corner kick delivery by Edwin Cardona found Zapata who got away from Geoff Cameron to get ahead.
Getting a goal as early as they did allowed the Colombian team to set back and allow the U.S. have possession of the ball but didn’t need to take risks.
Colombia was also far off their best version today but still were great managing their 1-0 lead and frustrate the U.S. team
2. The key moments
A long senseless pass by Jermaine Jones gave the ball to Colombia, the play ended in a great lobbed pass from Juan Cuadrado to Carlos Bacca, Cameron was able to get to the ball first but completely lost Zapata in the ensuing corner kick in which they conceded the first goal of the game.
A key second turnover was made by Micheal Bradley who lost the ball in his own half and a few second later DeAndre Yedlin blocked an intended cross to the box with his extended right hand giving up a crucial penalty just minutes before the half.
The best chance for the U.S. came in the 64th minute on a free kick from Clint Dempsey which David Ospina was able to keep out. A goal for the U.S. with just under 30 minutes to play could’ve completely changed the final stretch of the game.
3. Possession but no ideas
After going down in the game the only thing the U.S. was able to do was to keep the ball away from Brad Guzan’s goal, the problem is that even though the team was constantly in the Colombian half of the field, the team lacked any ideas of how to breakthrough the Colombian defense.
The worst part of it is that no one seemed to try to get in behind the backline or get any sort of movement going away from the ball making their attacks more predictable and easier to anticipate.
The U.S. will host Costa Rica in Chicago on June 7 in what is already a do or die game for the hosts. Colombia who wasn’t required to play at its best will now face Paraguay at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.