Colombia beats United States for third place at Copa America
Colombia claimed third place in the Copa America Centenario by beating the United States 1-0 in Glendale, Arizona, on Saturday night.
Carlos Bacca scored in the first half as Colombia beat the U.S. for the second time in the tournament following a 2-0 win the opening game.
With Jermaine Jones, Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood back in the lineup, the U.S. started much more brightly than the previous game, when all three were suspended and Argentina scored in the third minute of a 4-0 semifinal win.
But against Colombia, the U.S. was on the front foot early as Wood tried his luck from distance and Michael Bradley's through pass fell just out of Gyasi Zardes' reach.
Colombia's players soon showed their strength, however, and James Rodriguez's driven shot forced U.S. keeper Tim Howard -- making his first start of the Copa -- to get down to his left to push it aside.
The U.S. had a chance to score in the 16th minute when Bedoya raced onto a ball on the byline and cut it back to Clint Dempsey, who could not gather his feet in time to put the ball on target.
With Michael Bradley temporarily on the sideline while shaking off a knock from Bacca, Dempsey sent a shot from the top of the box high in wide.
DeAndre Yedlin then tested Colombia keeper David Ospina with a shot from the side of the box, though Dempsey was waiting for a cross.
Colombia hit back immediately on the counter-attack, with Rodriguez lobbing a pass over the U.S. back line that found Santiago Arias, who passed across for Bacca to get the slightest of touches to deflect it in for the opening goal.
The U.S. stepped up the pressure and had a chance to equalize in the 37th minute when Yedlin found Jones with a cross, but his shot was blocked by Cristian Zapata's arm, and Bedoya's contested follow-up sailed wide.
Dempsey played in Wood two minutes later, but the striker's run was cut off by Bedoya and the ball was poked away.
The hosts continued to threaten before the break, when Jones' cross deflected off Arias and went inches wide of the post. The ball was loose after the ensuing corner, but the play was ruled out for a foul on Ospina, much to the chagrin of Jurgen Klinsmann.
As the second half began, Ospina made a spectacular save to rob Dempsey of a goal from a long-range free kick.
Dempsey's header from the corner went over the bar, and it wasn't long before Zardes sent another shot from distance just wide.
Juan Cuadrado came within inches of doubling Colombia's lead on the hour mark when his chipped effort froze Howard but hit off the underside of the bar.
Then at the other end, Wood was denied an equalizer as his shot from the middle of the box banged squarely off the post.
Wood had another opportunity moments later as he did well to keep his feet while skipping past defenders in the box. The ball fell to Dempsey, who pushed a shot wide with the outside of his foot.
Klinsmann put on Christian Pulisic and Darlington Nagbe as the search for a goal continued, with Bedoya and Bradley coming out.
Pulisic soon started a counter-attack with a strong challenge, and Yedlin's cross from the byline skipped under Wood's heel at the top of the box.
Colombia nearly put the game away when substitute Marlos Moreno controlled the ball in the box but pulled his shot wide in the 87th minute.
Arias and the U.S.' Michael Orozco were both sent off in stoppage time for a confrontation, and Nagbe's free kick was right at Ospina as the hosts searched in vain for an equalizer.
The South American side was able to see out the game for some consolation after a semifinal defeat to Chile, who will take on Lionel Messi and Argentina in the tournament final on Sunday night in New Jersey.