Friday, June 17, 2016

Copa America Centenario Day 14: Colombia survives Peru in penalties

Peru 0-0 Colombia (0-0 in penalties)
Peru was fresh off their upset of Brazil that allowed them to win Group B and make an unexpected run to the quarter finals. For their trouble, they were matched up with Colombia, who were knocked down to second in Group B thanks to an unexpected defeat against Costa Rica.

End to end stuff dominated early as both sides came out the gate running hard and firing. Colombia hit a post after about 20 minutes after a quick attack through the Peru defense. Peru was getting half chances on the counter attack as well. There was also a great deal of physical play. This match could hardly go five minutes without an aggressive challenge that resulted in a player rolling on the pitch with a minor injury. Shockingly, no cards were shown to either team despite the surplus of hard fouls.

Despite the free flowing attacking moves, neither team was able to muster up a first half goal.

The poor officiating continued throughout the second half. Carlos Bacca was denied a pretty clear looking penalty in the 53rd minute after he was shoulder charged in the box while chasing a long ball. The cards started to come out after an hour had passed, but they didn't show up until tempers were getting out of control. Every foul brought a flurry of players to the referee's face and a card only made one side angrier.

The attacking play offered much more quality than the officials. Colombia kept having any push forward thwarted by an offside flag. Peru was simply inept whenever they even approached the colombian penalty area. This match seemed destined to head straight to penalties, as is the custom for Copa America knockout matches before the final, without a goal. The skipping of extra time would be merciful as far as this match was concerned. Nobody really needed to watch an extra half hour of shoddy officiating, players complaining, and poor attacking moves.

That said, Peru did come close to bagging a winner in the second minute of stoppage time when David Ospina had to rise high on a corner to top a header over the bar, although I'm not sure it was destined for more than the crossbar anyway. That was the best chance before the final whistle went and penalties came along.

In the shootout, the teams traded goals for the first two shots until David Ospina barely saved Miguel Trauco with his boot falling away from the ball to give Colombia a 3-2 lead. Peru lost the match after Dayro Moreno slammed home the fourth for Colombia and Christian Cueva skied his shot over the net for the final miss.

Colombia will need a much, much better showing than they had tonight if they want to take care of the Chile-Mexico winner. James Rodriguez was absent for the entire 90 minutes. Carlos Bacca couldn't collect a final ball and finish to save his life. Juan Cuadrado was alright at providing pace along the wing, but without the central support of James or Bacca, he was mostly useless out there. David Ospina was rarely challenged, but at least he came up strong when needed towards the end of regulation.

That match between Colombia and the winner of tomorrow's Mexico-Chile debacle will be on Wednesday night at 8pm in Chicago.

No comments:

Post a Comment