SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sporting Alert – Colombia defeated the United States 2-0 in the opening game of the 2016 Copa America at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Friday (3).
Goals from Cristian Zapata and James Rodriguez in the first half was enough for the third-ranked team in the world to secure the win and moved to the top of Group A with three points.
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 4, 2016
Zapata opened the scoring for Colombia in the 8th minute when he volleyed past U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan from a corner kick to score his first international goal.
The AC Milan defender, who skipped away from his marker Geoff Cameron to free himself up for the open shot, was well celebrated by his fellow teammates after the strike.
Captain and leading playmaker Rodriguez added a second goal for the South Americans from the penalty spot, after sending Guzan the wrong way in the 42nd-minute.
Colombia was awarded the penalty kick, after full-back DeAndre Yedlin handled the ball inside the area.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid playmaker Rodriguez left the game in the second half with a shoulder injury after falling awkwardly on his left side.
The United States is playing host to the 100th anniversary of the Copa American tournament.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s side will next face CONCACAF rival Costa Rica in Chicago on Tuesday before playing against Paraguay in Philadelphia four days later.
“For our players it’s really important that they can see we can beat them,” Klinsmann said. “The end result is 2-0. But the players will take a lot out of this game.”
The German coach added: “Obviously we have even more hunger in our second game now.
“We have our backs against the wall and we need three points against Costa Rica. But there’s a lot of positives.”
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Colombia (4-2-3-1): David Ospina; Farid Diaz, Jeison Murillo, Cristian Zapata, Santiago Arias; Sebastian Perez, Daniel Torres; Edwin Cardona, James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado; Carlos Bacca.