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It was the hottest match of the summer! Colombia with James and three RPL players in the Copa final!

Date: July 18, 2024 Time: 13:53:06

The battle between Uruguay and Colombia determined Argentina’s opponent in the Copa America final. The two most productive teams in the tournament didn’t score much against each other, but the match was certainly not boring. It was the other way around.

The Colombians easily beat Panama in the quarter-finals (5-0), which was what everyone expected of them. But the Uruguayans had to face Brazil. For the victory (0-0, 4-2 Pen.) they had to pay a high price: the loss of two key players at the same time: the disqualified Nandez and the injured Araujo. The first is a full-back, the second is a star of the national team, whom Bielsa used in the centre of defence, but sometimes on the flank.

At first it seemed that the Argentine coach had opted for a 3-2-4-1 formation, unusual for the team, with three centre-backs and no full-backs, leaving Viña, Olasa and ex-Dínamo Varela on the bench, who are fit for the usual 4-2-3-1 formation. But then it turned out that he simply left defensive midfielder Ugarte in the centre of defence. Anything can be expected from the innovative Bielsa. Varela, however, had to be released in the 35th minute to replace the injured Bentancur.

The Uruguayan attacking line remained just as powerful. It had to play pragmatically against the Brazilians, but against the Colombians it spread its wings. Nunez alone, as usual, wasted several decisive chances in the first half: all four of his shots missed. If fans of Uruguay and Liverpool meet, they will probably receive a new version of the meme “I know what you feel, brother” (brother, I understand your feelings – note from “Campeonato”).

Darwin Nunez

Photo: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The problem is that Colombia did not sit back in defence either. This is understandable when Hames took advantage of his second youth. In the four previous matches, the 32-year-old midfielder scored 1+5, and now he added another assist: he clearly took a corner to the far post, where Lerma was on guard and headed perfectly.

The Colombians were energetic in attack. Their only slight advantage on the scoreboard at the end of the 45 minutes is a great credit to goalkeeper Rochet, who plays for Brazilian side Internacional.

You’ve probably forgotten about Hames already. Here he disappeared:

James Rodriguez is the best player in the Copa America. Where did he go and how did he get back to the top level?

But in added time, Colombia was severely harassed by Muñoz. He already had a card and for some reason he dismissed Ugarte. Yes, the PSG player provoked him and pulled his shirt. But why hit his ribs with his elbow? In the locker room, the club members probably said some kind words to Dani.

During the break, Colombian coach Lorenzo (also an Argentinian, by the way) plugged the gap in the defensive flank with Arias – Arias left at the break. Bielsa logically reinforced the attack and brought on Christian Olivera and de Arrascaeta instead of Matias Olivera and Pelistri. In general, both coaches did everything possible to ensure that there were no namesakes on the field. And Uruguay really took possession of the ball strongly (48% versus 78% in the second half), although this was more influenced by the inequality in the lineups.

Muñoz really let the team down

Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Football has become too hard. Colombian Rios was injured and in the 61st minute Lorenzo took James with him: what creativity there was, all that was left to do was save the game. And they could easily beat the Colombian leader. Martial arts, rape, cards – there was enough of everything. Poor Varela made a reverse substitution: he was replaced by 37-year-old Suarez in the 65th minute. And almost immediately Louis hit the post.

Uruguay launched a massive attack. Mina came on to help Colombia in defence in place of Krasnodar Córdoba. In addition to Suárez, Valverde and de Arrascaeta had decisive chances. But even the opponent, weakened by the expulsion, practically punished them twice: Uribe was unable to overcome Rochet after going three against two and one against one.

Luis Suarez came out to save and hit the post

Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

The Colombians showed their worth in many ways, they stood their ground and proved that they can take a beating. We definitely didn’t have enough of such brilliant and even difficult matches this summer: yes, we only saw one goal, but the xG of passion clearly hit all five. 24 fouls, eight yellow cards, 22 shots between two – a real semi-final! The stadium also played a role: there are a lot of Colombians in the USA, so almost all the stands were yellow. Together with the players, they put on a show – it seems that the emotions of the game have never been brighter this summer (even at this stage of the tournament). Russian fans also have reason to rejoice: three RPL players play for Colombia: Córdoba, Olasa and Carrascal (only he didn’t play today).

Now you can’t even say that Argentina will be the favourites in the Copa America final. Yes, they have a much fresher line-up. Yes, Brazil or Uruguay were expected to face the Argentines. But it was precisely because of their game that I fell in love with Colombia: when needed, they are great attackers, when needed, they are a defender with teeth. But always brilliant.

How did Argentina reach the final?

Messi finally scored in the Kop. Argentina is one step away from winning another trophy. Video

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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