Colombia outlasts Uruguay to reach final vs. Lionel Messi, Argentina

Colombia is heading to the Copa America 2024 final.

Jefferson Lerma scored a header in the 39th minute, and Colombia outlasted Uruguay 1-0 during their Copa America semifinal on Wednesday night in front of 70,644 people at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

The Copa America 2024 final is set: Colombia will face Lionel Messi’s Argentina, the defending Copa America and World Cup champions, on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

Colombia extended its unbeaten streak to 28 games with the victory, inspired by James Rodríguez’s stellar corner kick to Lerma in the 39th minute for his sixth assist, the most of any player during this Copa America.

Colombia also overcame the challenge of playing down to 10 players, after defender Daniel Muñoz received his second yellow card, and a red card, for elbowing a Uruguayan player just before halftime.

Mateus Uribe missed two shots, one in the 85th minute and another in extra time, unable to connect on two open chances toward the net to score a second goal for Colombia, much to the gasping despair of Colombian fans wanting a knockout blow.

Lerma took a long shot toward an empty net in the final minutes, but the final whistle was blown shortly after his shot sailed over the net, sending Colombia to the final.

Uruguay failed to score in its last two matches during the tournament, needed a 4-2 penalty shootout to advance past Brazil in the quarterfinal.

Darwin Núñez missed four shots toward the net in the first half, while José Giménez was unable to deliver with two attempts in the second half for Uruguay.

Uruguay, tied with Argentina for the most Copa America titles at 15, won’t get a chance to compete with Argentina for another one.

Colombia has reached its third Copa America final (1975, 2001), and hopes to win its second (2001).

Tempers flare after final whistle

Some Uruguay players were seen entering the stands as fights appeared to break out in the crowd.

Colombia misses wide-open goal: Colombia 1, Uruguay 0

Deep into stoppage time and with Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet playing way up the field as his team attempted to secure an equalizer, Colombia regained possession of the ball and took a long shot at the goal.

Colombia misses golden opportunities to put the game away

A mishit by Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet nearly resulted in a second goal for Colombia in the 88th minute that would have put the game away.

Kevin Castaño passed to a wide-open Mateus Uribe, who missed the shot wide.

A few minutes later in stoppage time, Rochet prevented Colombia from adding a second goal with a clutch save.

Federico Valverde misses shot toward net: Colombia 1, Uruguay 0

Luis Suarez misses shot off right post: Colombia 1, Uruguay 0

Luis Suarez was left in disbelief after his shot off the right post in a prime opportunity for Uruguay.

Suarez later misread this chance at another shot near the net shortly after.

Colombia’s José María Giménez gets yellow card: Colombia 1, Uruguay 0

Luis Suarez enters the match for Uruguay: Colombia 1, Uruguay 0

Luis Suarez, the Inter Miami star and Uruguay’s all-time leading scorer, has come on to play the final 20+ minutes of this match. Although he’s played just eight minutes during this Copa America, he remains a feared scorer for the trailing Uruguayans.

Darwin Núñez misses shot on goal: Colombia 1, Uruguay 0

Uruguay’s Darwin Núñez missed his shot toward the net. He was also called offside for the hectic sequence.

Colombia’s James Rodríguez comes off as substitute: Colombia 1, Uruguay 0

After a ton of commotion, James Rodríguez came off as a substitute in the 62nd minute for Colombia. He has the game-winning assist, his sixth of the tournament, if this score holds in the final 30+ minutes.  

Turn of events for Colombia early in second half: Colombia 1, Uruguay 0

Colombia’s Richard Ríos was down on one side of the pitch, but played continued on the other side with Uruguay charging toward the net. James Rodríguez tried his best to have the referees stop play, leading to a yellow card in the 56th minute.

Colombia’s Daniel Muñoz ejected after red card: Colombia 1, Uruguay 0

The worst moment for Colombia’s first half: Defender Daniel Muñoz picked up his second yellow card, and inherit red card for a elbow he delivered to a Uruguayan player just before halftime.

Despite the early lead, Colombia is down to 10 players for the rest of the match.

Jefferson Lerma scores header for goal: Colombia 1, Uruguay 0

James Rodríguez delivers his sixth assist of the tournament via a corner kick, finding Jefferson Lerma for a header and a score in the 39th minute. It’s the first time this tournament Uruguay has trailed.

Here’s another look at Colombia’s 1-0 lead:

Colombia’s Jhon Córdoba misses header shot: Uruguay 0, Colombia 0

James Rodríguez delivered a stellar cross to Jhon Córdoba, but his header could not find the back of the net.

Colombia’s Daniel Muñoz receives yellow card: Uruguay 0, Colombia 0

Uruguay’s Darwin Núñez misses shot on goal: Uruguay 0, Colombia 0

The Uruguayan striker with another golden opportunity, but misses high.

Uruguay’s Nicolás de la Cruz gets a yellow card: Uruguay 0, Colombia 0

Darwin Núñez misses shot on goal: Uruguay 0, Colombia 0

Uruguay’s Darwin Núñez attempted this shot, but was just to the left of the net on his side’s best shot of the match early on.

Daniel Muñoz misses header towards goal: Uruguay 0, Colombia 0

Luis Díaz set up this shot by Colombia with a cross, but the header by Daniel Muñoz was just a bit outside.

Colombia player to watch: James Rodriguez

Luis Diaz crowned Rodriguez in celebration after his goal in a 5-0 win against Panama in the quarterfinal. He’s been the best player during Copa America, the engine Colombia has relied on during its semifinal march.

Rodriguez leads all players with five assists, more than double the next player in line. He was instrumental in Colombia’s avoidance of Uruguay until the semifinal, fueling Colombia’s comeback draw against Brazil to meet Panama in the quarterfinals.

Colombia has 11 goals in four games — five coming in their win against Panama — and appears as the strongest team to beat in the Copa America semifinals.

Uruguay player to watch: Darwin Núñez

The Liverpool striker shined with two goals in group play, but missed a header near the net that would have helped Uruguay avoid a penalty shootout against Brazil, and was eventually subbed off against Brazil to help Uruguay play the result.

Although Uruguay did not appear its strongest against Brazil, the country has a feather in its cap no other club has: a win over Argentina in World Cup qualifying last November, in which Núñez scored.

Simply put, Núñez needs to have a better performance than his last two outings, which included a meaningless 1-0 win over the U.S. after already clinching a quarterfinal, if Uruguay is to advance in the semifinal round.

Here are the starting lineups for Uruguay and Colombia

Here are the starting lineups for both sides for tonight’s Copa America semifinal:

What time is the Uruguay vs. Colombia Copa America semifinal?

The Copa America semifinal matchup between Uruguay and Colombia will kick off at 8 p.m. ET.

How to watch Uruguay vs. Colombia live stream?

FS1 will broadcast the match in English, and Univision/TUDN in Spanish.

When is the Copa America final?

Argentina will face the winner of Uruguay and Colombia during the Copa America final Sunday at 8 p.m. ET inside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

When is the Copa America third-place match?

The loser of Uruguay and Colombia will stay in Charlotte and play Canada in the Copa America third-place match Saturday at Bank of America Stadium.

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Uruguay vs. Colombia prediction

Colombia 1-1 (4-3 in penalty shootout): James Rodriguez is Colombia’s engine and has pushed the pace for his side in four Copa America matches, but Uruguay’s defense could be stifling. Both sides will score a goal, but Colombia will outlast Uruguay in penalties. – Safid Deen, USA TODAY Sports’ Lionel Messi reporter.

Uruguay vs. Colombia betting odds

Uruguay has +160 odds to win, and Colombia has +225 odds to win, while a draw after 90 minutes has +170 odds, according to BETMGM.

For more analysis on Uruguay vs. Colombia betting odds, click here.

How did Colombia reach the Copa America semifinals?

Colombia won Group D by beating Paraguay 2-1, Costa Rica 3-0 and tying Brazil 1-1 during the group stage to avoid a meeting with Uruguay in the quarterfinals.

Colombia advanced to the semifinal, following a 5-0 rout of Panama.

How did Uruguay reach the Copa America semifinals?

Uruguay won Group C by beating Panama 3-1, Bolivia 5-0 and the U.S. men’s national team 1-0 during the group stage.

Uruguay failed to score against Brazil during their quarterfinal, but outlasted them 4-2 in a penalty shootout.

How did Lionel Messi and Argentina reach the Copa America final?

Who has the best betting odds to win Copa America?

Argentina – the defending Copa America 2021 and World Cup 2022 champions – have the best odds to win this summer’s tournament at -165 odds, while Uruguay is +320, and Colombia is +350 to win it all, according to BETMGM.

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