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Player ratings as Colombia advance to Copa America 2024 final despite Daniel Munoz’s red card

Player ratings as Colombia advance to Copa America 2024 final despite Daniel Munoz’s red card

Colombia extended their unbeaten run to 28 games as Nestor Lorenzo’s side beat Uruguay despite being down to 10 men for more than 50 minutes to reach the Copa America 2024 final.

Colombia and Uruguay won their respective groups at Copa America 2024, with a semi-final between the two teams looking inevitable. Colombia emphatically beat Panama 5-0 in the quarter-finals, while Uruguay survived a penalty shootout against Brazil. Tonight, the two teams face off to decide who will face reigning champions Argentina in the Copa America final.

How did the game develop?

In front of the yellows, Colombia looked the more dangerous side in the early stages of the match, coming forward with precision and pace to test Uruguay’s makeshift defence. However, it was La Celeste who had the first real chance of the match when Darwin Nunez’s left-footed shot went narrowly wide in the 17th minute. The Liverpool forward would have two more good shots on goal, but they lacked the final product.

Uruguay may have missed their chances but Colombia didn’t make the same mistakes. Jefferson Lerma, back in the starting lineup after serving a one-match ban for accumulating yellow cards, responded with a header at the far post after another superb corner from James Rodriguez in the 39th minute.

Just six minutes after the opening goal, Daniel Munoz was shown a second yellow card in the 31st minute for elbowing Manuel Ugarte in the chest. Colombia went into the dressing room with a one-goal lead but a man down.

A goal was inevitable for Uruguay in the second half, but La Celeste struggled to capitalise on their extra players. Their best chance came in the 71st minute when Luis Suarez’s shot from 15 yards kissed the outside of the post. Marcelo Bielsa’s side continued to knock on the door but were unable to equalise against Colombia’s strong defence, leaving them to settle for a third-place match as Colombia advanced to the Copa America final.

Daniel Munoz received a red card in the first half. / CHANDAN KHANNA/GettyImages

GK: Camilo Vargas – 7/10 – Vargas kept his goal down tonight and made saves at the most critical moments.

RB: Daniel Munoz – 3/10 – Munoz was shown a red card in the first half after receiving two yellow cards, leaving his team with 10 men in a match they absolutely needed to win.

CB: Davidson Sanchez – 7/10 – Sanchez, who was one man down, had to both stop Colombia from scoring and stop Luis Suarez in the second half.

CB: Carlos Cuesta – 7/10 – Cuesta contributed to Colombia’s attack by carrying the ball forward from the defensive line in the first half, but had to stand tall to prevent Uruguay from scoring in the second half.

LB: Johan Mojica – 6/10 – Mojica defended well tonight, especially when Colombia were reduced to ten men. The left-back effectively took Facundo Pellistri and Cristian Olivera out of the game.

DM: Richard Rios – 6/10 – Rios is the engine of the Colombian midfield, constantly helping out defensively while also featuring in attack. He was also the victim of several heavy tackles that sent him off the pitch in the 61st minute.

DM: Jefferson Lerma – 7/10 – A player who is suspended for one match due to a yellow card penalty, Lerma returned to the starting lineup and scored Colombia’s only goal tonight.

RM: John Arias – 5/10 – Arias was quiet in the first half, supporting the attack whenever possible, but the midfielder was substituted at halftime after Munoz’s red card and replaced by a defender.

PM: James Rodriguez – 7/10 – Rodriguez netted Colombia’s only goal with his sixth assist of the night, the most by a player since 2011.

LM: Luis Diaz – 8/10 – Diaz terrorised the right side of the Uruguayan defence, using his pace and dribbling ability to battle various players and create goal-scoring opportunities. The Liverpool player made a valiant effort to get a man down to hold the ball.

ST: John Cordoba – 5/10 – Cordoba had a goal-scoring opportunity after a couple of half-chances but the striker was unable to test Sergio Rochet.

Backups

CAPTION: Santiago Arias – 6/10 – Arias was brought on as a right-back at half-time after Munoz was sent off. Despite only making one appearance in this Copa America, the defender did well to help the defence in stopping Uruguay.

SUBSTITUTE: Mateus Uribe – 5/10 – Uribe came on as a substitute for the injured Rios and brought energy to the Colombian midfield as they struggled to defend with ten men. Uribe could have finished the game in the 88th and 94th minutes but missed both chances.

SUBSTITUTE: Kevin Castano – 5/10 – Castano’s fresh legs were a welcome respite for the tired Colombians on the pitch.

CAPTION: Yerry Mina – 6/10 – Mina entered the game in the 75th minute and Los Cafeteros gained a reserve defender.

CAPTION: Luis Sinisterra – None – Sinisterra entered the game in the 86th minute and contributed to the defense.

Manager

Nestor Lorenzo – 8/10 – Nestor Lorenzo deserves all the credit for taking Colombia to the Copa America 2024 final. The manager made crucial changes after Daniel Munoz was sent off in the first half, giving his team every chance to extend their 1-0 lead and unbeaten run. It takes a certain amount of resilience to survive a man down in the semi-finals against a team that hasn’t lost at this year’s Copa America, but Lorenzo’s squad emerged victorious.