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Player ratings as Colombia advance to Copa America 2024 final despite Daniel Munoz red card

Colombia extended their unbeaten run to 28 matches as Nestor Lorenzo’s side beat Uruguay to reach the Copa America 2024 final despite playing with 10 men for more than 50 minutes.

Colombia and Uruguay both won their Copa America 2024 groups, and a semi-final between the two teams felt inevitable. Colombia defeated Panama 5-0 in the quarterfinals, while Uruguay survived a penalty shootout against Brazil. Tonight, these teams will face each other to decide who will face the champions of Argentina, in the Copa America final.

How the game happened

In front of the field of yellow shirts, Colombia looked the most dangerous team in the early stages of the game, pushing forward with precision and pace to test a short-tempered Uruguay. It was La Celeste, however, who had the first real chance of the game when Darwin Nunez let a left-footed goal go wide in the 17th minute. The Liverpool forward would have two good looks at goal, but lacked the final product.

Uruguay may not have been able to capitalize on their chances, but Colombia didn’t make the same mistakes. Jefferson Lerma, back in the starting XI after serving a one-match ban for accumulating yellow cards, got on the end of another James Rodriguez wonder corner with a header into the back of the net in the 39th minute.

Just six minutes after scoring the opening goal, Daniel Munoz, who had already been booked in the 31st minute, received a second yellow card for elbowing Manuel Ugarte in the chest. Colombia entered the locker room with a goal up, but a man went down.

A Uruguay goal seemed inevitable in the second half, but La Celeste struggled to capitalize on their extra man. Their best chance came in the 71st minute when an unmarked Luis Suarez fired wide of the post from 15 yards out. Marcelo Bielsa’s side kept knocking on the door, but could not find an equalizer against Colombia’s defenders, forcing them to settle for third place as Colombia advanced to the Copa America final.


Daniel Munoz was ejected in the first half. / CHANDAN KHANNA/GettyImages

GK: Camilo Vargas – 7/10 – Vargas kept a clean sheet tonight and made timely saves when it mattered most.

RB: Daniel Munoz – 3/10 – Munoz was sent off in the first half after receiving two yellow cards, leaving his team with ten men in a must-win game.

CB: Davinson Sanchez – 7/10 – Down a man, Sanchez was called upon to both preserve Colombia’s clean sheet and stop Luis Suarez in the second half.

CB: Carlos Cuesta – 7/10 – Cuesta held the ball forward in the first half, influencing Colombia’s attack, but had to stop in the second half to keep Uruguay off the scoresheet.

LB: Johan Mojica – 6/10 – Mojica defended well tonight, especially when Colombia went down to ten men. This left-back successfully removed Facundo Pellistri and Cristian Olivera from the game.

DM: Richard Rios – 6/10 – Rios is the engine of Colombia’s midfield, always helping in defense while pushing forward in attack. He was also the victim of a severe beating that eventually forced him to leave the field in the 61st minute.

DM: Jefferson Lerma – 7/10 – After serving his one-match ban for accumulating yellow cards, Lerma returned to the starting XI and scored Colombia’s lone goal tonight.

RM: John Arias – 5/10 – Arias had a quiet first half, supporting the attack when he could. The midfielder was taken off at half-time, in favor of a full-back after Munoz’s red card.

AM: James Rodriguez – 7/10 – Rodriguez recorded his sixth assist tonight on Colombia’s only goal, the most by a single player since 2011.

LM: Luis Diaz – 8/10 – Diaz terrorized the right side of Uruguay’s defense, using his pace and dribbling ability to take on a variety of players and create scoring opportunities. The Liverpool player made a brave effort to bring the man down to hold the ball up.

ST: John Cordoba – 5/10 – Cordoba found themselves at the end of the half with several chances, but the striker failed to test Sergio Rochet.

What you are holding

SUB: Santiago Arias – 6/10 – Arias was introduced at half-time to slot in at right-back after Munoz was sent off. Despite only making one appearance at this Copa America, the defender did well to help his backline stop Uruguay.

SUB: Mateus Uribe – 5/10 – Uribe came in for the injured Rios and brought energy to the Colombian midfielder as they struggled to defend with ten men. Uribe could have sealed the game in the 88th minute and the 94th minute, but he missed both chances.

SUB: Kevin Castano – 5/10 – Castano’s new legs were a welcome relief for the weary Colombians on the field.

SUB: Yerry Mina – 6/10 – Mina was subbed on in the 75th minute to give Los Cafeteros an extra midfielder.

SUB: Luis Sinisterra – N/A – Sinisterra came on in the 86th minute and joined the defensive effort.

The manager

Nestor Lorenzo – 8/10 – Nestor Lorenzo deserves all the credit for leading Colombia to the finals of Copa America 2024. The manager made key changes after Daniel Munoz was sent off in the first half, giving his side a chance to maintain their 1-0 lead and unbeaten run. It takes some grit to survive a semi-final against a team that was undefeated in this year’s Copa America, but Lorenzo’s side emerged victorious.

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