Colombia faced off against the United States for the glorious 3rd place match of the Copa America Centenario on June 25th of 2016 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona. It was a fantastic match, the Colombians brought a great atmosphere and the rivaling USA fans also brought in the noise and jubilation to the West Gate Entertainment District just outside the stadium prior to the match.
Colombian fans would taunt the USA fans with Colombia chants and of course, the USA fans did not stay far behind
It was nice and toasty 118 degrees outside but with a little bit of liquid courage, the heat was no longer a factor, nor the fact that this match was for the 3rd place in this Copa Centenario Tournament.
Soccer fans came from all varieties, the ever present Mexican fans and even fans of the Democratic Republic of Congo, showed up to see their favorite Real Madrid star James Rodriguez take on the Team USA who was ready to take revenge from the previous group stage match Colombia vs USA, were USA fell 2-0.
The coaches took this match seriously and fielded their starting line ups except for Jurgen Klinsmann, who chose to field Tim Howard to guard the American posts.
As expected, Team USA ceded possession to the Colombians and played for the counter attack. 51% possession was for the Colombians, and Team USA only managed a meager 3 shots on goal, but it was an improvement from the 0 shots on goal from their previous match vs Argentina. Passing Accuracy for Team USA was at 79% which the lower percentage can be attributed to Zardes first touch on the ball. Colombia managed to break the bunker at the 31st minute, but still kept pressing the Americans into their own side of the field. In the 2nd half, Team USA pushed up their lines and started to take the initiative, taking it to the Colombians, who were playing for the 1-0 result. Things got better when Klinsmann took out Michael Bradley at the 79th minute for Nagbe and the team was able to push the Colombia to their own side of the field and hung on to dear life and that 1-0 result. Eventually things fell apart when Michael Orozco lost his cool and managed to get ejected during a scuffle outside the Colombian’s box. There was no time left, and even after Arias from Colombia got himself ejected from the match, and thus now will miss the first match of the CONMEBOL 2018 world cup qualifiers in September.
The 29,041 fans were mostly pro-USA by looking at the video below, where USA fans heckled David Ospina during the entire match.
The Puto Chant echoed through out the halls of the entire stadium, but David Ospina later on commented that he understood that USA was the home team, and this heckling was to be expected.
The match finished, Colombia 1-0 USA, and Jurgen Klinsmann, the Coach for Team USA made himself available to the media via press conference.
In the press conference, he offered signs of hope, and also denied ceding possession to the opposing teams as a strategy for Team USA, despite the fact that all his previous 5 matches, USA did not hold the majority of possession.