Glendale (Arizona), June 26 (IANS) A first half strike from Carlos Bacca earned Colombia a third place finish at the Copa America Centenario football tournament following a 1-0 win over hosts US at the University of Phoenix Stadium here.
Bacca struck in the 31st minute of the third place play-off to help Colombia to their best finish in the tournament since their title triumph in 2001. It was Bacca’s 13th international goal.
Faced with a much higher rated opponent, the US team put up a strong challenge. They were forced to defend for most of the game, but caused problems for the Colombian defence on several occasions with fast counter-attacks.
Colombia were rewarded for some delightful build-up play when James Rodriguez picked out Santiago Arias in the US penalty area with a splendid cross.
Arias’ header across the face of goal was swept in by a sliding for Bacca who beat his marker to tuck a finish in at the far post.
The game was marred by some frayed tempers towards the end when US left-back Michael Orozco was sent off in the third minute of second half injury when he physically assualted Arias in front of the referree.
Arias was himself sent off immediately after when he kicked out at a US player to earn his second yellow card.