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Copa America 2024: Colombia Defeat Uruguay To Reach Final

Colombia beats Uruguay 1-0 and will face Lionel Messi, Argentina in Copa  América final | FOX Sports

Colombia beat Uruguay 1-0 in Wednesday’s Copa America semi-final in spite playing the second half with only 10 men.

The victory for Colombia meant they set up a title decider against defending champions Argentina, before the night descended into chaos as players clashed with fans.

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The semi-final in Charlotte, North Carolina ended with Uruguayan players confronting Colombian fans in the stands as security personnel struggled to restore order.

South American governing body CONMEBOL said it was investigating the incident.

With the majority of the 70,000-plus crowd cheering on Colombia from the start, Jefferson Lerma scored the winner.

This was after Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez had missed three good opportunities to put his side ahead.

The Liverpool striker had a great chance in the box in the 17th minute but curled his effort inches wide before a scuffed shot.

Another curling strike failed to find the target as he sat on his haunches wondering how he had missed.

Uruguay were made to pay for those missed chances when Lerma rose above the defence at a corner and squeezed his header past goalkeeper Sergio Rochet.

James Rodriguez who provided the pinpoint cross for Lerma claimed his sixth assist of the tournament.

“We played an excellent match. The referee was not good…

“The match was very complicated, against a very tough opponent,” said Rodriguez, who broke Argentine Lionel Messi’s record of five assists in a single edition of the Copa America.

“But we achieved a well-deserved final. I’ve been here for almost 13 years, wanting this. We are happy.”

The game took a turn in first-half stoppage time when Colombia right back Daniel Munoz elbowed Manuel Ugarte in the chest when play was stopped and picked up a second booking.

With Uruguay dominating possession in the second half, manager Marcelo Bielsa threw on Luis Suarez in the 67th minute and the veteran striker nearly scored moments later.

The 37-year-old’s shot hitting the post as he sank to his knees in frustration.

Colombia had a golden opportunity to seal the win in the 88th minute when they won the ball back in Uruguay’s box but Mateus Uribe sent his low shot wide.

Colombia fans were left in disbelief when Uribe saw another shot deflect off the keeper and cannon off the crossbar in added time.

In spite those misses, Colombia held on for victory, extending their unbeaten run to a national record 28 games and reaching their first final since 2001 when they won their only title.

“I would have preferred to avoid the sending off of the Colombian player,” Bielsa said.

“What happened in the second half, given the way in which Colombia had to play to maintain their situation with one man down, created greater challenges than the ones we were facing when they were 11.”

Colombia face Argentina in Florida on Sunday while Uruguay stay in Charlotte for the third-place playoff against Canada on Saturday. It is Uruguay’s best Copa performance since their last title win in 2011.

Argentina are tied with Uruguay on 15 Copa titles and will own the record outright if they beat Colombia at Miami Gardens.

After the game, videos showed what appeared to be Uruguay players wading into the stands to exchange blows with Colombia fans as police personnel tried to keep the two sides apart.

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