Copa America: Lerma's header powers Colombia to 1-0 win over Uruguay, seals date with Argentina in final

Jul 11, 2024

North Carolina [US], July 11 : James Rodriguez's masterclass and a resolute performance from 10-men Colombia sealed their date with Argentina in the final following a 1-0 victory over Uruguay in the Copa America semi-final.
As the final whistle blew in North Carolina's Bank of America Stadium, Colombia players jumped in jubilation to celebrate their win that defied the odds to keep Uruguay's high-flying attack quiet.
Their determined performance extended their unbeaten run to a team-record 28 games. Their last defeat dates back to February 2022, served to them by the opposition that awaits them in the final of the ongoing tournament on Sunday.
Uruguay had their chances to go in front throughout the 90 minutes but struggled to guide the ball into the back of the net.
Liverpool's ace Darwin Nunez attempted to side-foot the ball inside the back of the net, but his shot was a whisker away from his target in the 19th minute.
It was Rodriguez who carried the attacking threat and paved the way for Colombia to lift their first Copa America title since 2001.
In front of an avid atmosphere created by the ecstatic fans, he served the ball to Jefferson Lerma, who headed the ball into the net in the 39th minute of the game.
Despite going in front, Colombia's task to defend their slender one-goal advantage became an intricate affair. Defender Daniel Munoz swung his elbow at Uruguay's Manuel Ugarte, was shown a second yellow card and got sent off the field in the first-half stoppage time.
With time running out, Uruguay decided to introduce one of their most prolific strikers, Luis Suarez, into the thick of the action.
In the 71st minute, he had the opportunity to bring the game back on level terms but failed to deliver in the decisive moment.
Colombia struck the crossbar in the final minutes of the game, but one goal turned out to be sufficient to seal their date with Argentina in the final.