Sunday, 12 June 2016
Costa Rica stuns Colombia, who settle for second in Group A
Colombia was made to pay for making 10 changes and lost 3-2 to Costa Rica in its final group stage game in the Copa America Centenario on Saturday night.
Having already qualified for the knockout stage, Colombia only needed a draw to win Group A, but Jose Pekerman decided to rest his first-choice team, including stars James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado.
With the defeat, Colombia finished second in the group, behind the United States on goal difference, and now face a strong chance of playing Brazil in the quarterfinal, should the Selecao win or draw against Peru on Sunday.
Costa Rica needed less than two minutes to take the lead as Johan Venegas turned and unleashed a marvelous curling strike from outside the box that found the top corner.
But Colombia hit back almost immediately through Frank Fabra, who ran into the box and poked the ball past Costa Rica keeper Patrick Pemberton in the seventh minute.
Colombia kept pressing the attack but it was Costa Rica who retook the lead in the 34th minute as Fabra inadvertently turned in a cross into his own net.
Pekerman had seen enough and sent on James at half-time, along with Edwin Cardona.
But again Costa Rica stunned the crowd in Houston as Borges fired in a third goal from a Bryan Oviedo cross on 58 minutes.
Soon after, Cuadrado came on as Colombia's final sub, and he tried to spark a comeback, with his cross finding Marlos Moreno, who got a goal back in the 73rd minute.
But Costa Rica, which had nothing to play for after the U.S. beat Paraguay earlier in the night, withstood a late flurry to defeat Colombia for the first time since 1980.