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 assaulted Arias in front of the referee.
Arias was himself sent off immediately after when he kicked out at a US player to earn his second yellow card.