Colombia can take a breather for a while as they managed to beat the tough Peru squad, 4-2 on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Copa America in front of a jam-packed MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Colombia looked strong on the early goings of the match as they looked to bring in their stat that favors them. By stats, Colombia leads 17-20-15 overall, but Peru is dominant in Copa America play, going unbeaten in three straight against their northern neighbors. In the first half, the game ended at 0-0 with both teams struggling to find the end of the goal.
Both Colombia and Peru were whistled for 19 fouls, though no cards were raised, but the Colombian side took pretty much of the attacking and had the better quality of scoring.
Peru held on to its end as they showed their defensive prowess frustrating the Colombian attacks as both teams headed to their locker rooms at the half with thoughts of adjusting their style of play heading into the second half.
Colombia continued to pressure the Peruvian defense but was still not close to making any goals. The match was pretty the same in the second half with Colombia making aggressive attacks to the goal and Peru hanging on with their defense. Peru on their end also tried to score a goal but the Colombian wall was just too tall to overcome.
Colombia had a chance to snag a goal in the 80th minute but Carlos Bacca wasted the opportunity with a clumsy touch that gave back the ball to the Peruvian side.
Peru for their part also had a golden opportunity to score a goal with a corner two minutes into stoppage time as Cristian Cueva took the corner as teammate Christian Ramos went for the header but Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina managed to save the day as the ball managed to hit his fingertips saving their campaign and that send the game into a penalty shootout.
In the shootout, James Rodriguez, who plays for Real Madrid, shot first and scored a goal towards the keeper’s left side as they took a 1-0 advantage but Peru’s Raul Rudiaz send Ospina to the wrong direction as he managed to tie the match at 1-1 after sending the ball to the top left corner for a goal.
Juan Cuadrado and Marlos Moreno clinched the exciting goals making the score at 3-2 following Peru’s Renato Tapia, who scored a kick straight to the goal. Peru seemed to tie the shoot but fate would not be on their side this time as Miguel Trauco was denied a goal as his kick was saved by Ospina giving the Colombian side a reason to celebrate.
Sebastian Perez would put the icing on the cake as he pounds it to the goal for a 4-2 lead and in the next fray Christina Cueva would certainly miss his kick sending the ball to the crossbar paving the way for the celebrations to begin for Colombia as they avenged their 2013 loss to Peru.
Ospina was the man of the hour for team Colombia as he managed to save a last minute effort by the Peruvian side. The Arsenal goalkeeper showed his wares and hung tight for the Jose Pekerman-mentored team Colombia.
With the win, Colombia awaits the winner of the match between Mexico and Chile for their semifinals match.
Photo Courtesy: Ed g2s/Wikimedia