Colombia wins 10th straight to reach Copa QFs

Davinson Sánchez and Jhon Córdoba scored three minutes apart in the second half, and Colombia advanced to the Copa América quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Costa Rica in Glendale, Arizona, on Friday.

Colombia controlled possession (62%) for the second straight game and led 1-0 at halftime on Luis Díaz’s penalty kick in the 31st minute.

Los Cafeteros kept up the pressure in the second half and wrapped up Group D with a dominating performance in front of 27,386 pro-Colombian fans at State Farm Stadium. Colombia outshot Costa Rica 14-5 and faces Brazil on Tuesday in Santa Clara, California, to close out the group stage.

Colombia has won 10 straight and is unbeaten in 25 games (20-0-5) since losing at Argentina in a World Cup qualifier in 2022. Costa Rica did not have a shot on goal.

Costa Rica had the first big surprise of the tournament, playing nine-time Copa América champion Brazil to a scoreless tie despite being outshot 18-2.

Los Ticos found themselves on their heels again against another powerhouse team in the desert — and it didn’t go quite as well for the youngest roster in the tournament.

Colombia controlled possession (66%) in its opening 2-1 win over Paraguay and dominated the ball early against Costa Rica.

Luis Díaz set Colombia on the path to a win over Costa Rica and a place in the Copa América quarterfinals.

Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Díaz had the first good chance in the fifth minute, just missing the crossbar on a header. James Rodríguez followed with the first shot on goal in the 20th minute, but Patrick Sequeira sprawled out for a diving save.

Díaz scored on the penalty kick after Sequeira took down a charging Córdoba at the edge of the penalty box. Los Cafeteros kept up the pressure, just missing another goal when Sánchez couldn’t get a head on Díaz’s bouncing cross.

Colombia had 71% possession in the first half and kept control in the second.

As Costa Rica pressed for an equaliser they left themselves open on the break and Colombia made them pay, with Sánchez outmuscling defender Juan Pablo Vargas to head Jhon Arias’ corner past Sequeira from close range in the 59th minute.

After scoring, Sánchez held up the jersey of team mate Jhon Lucumí, who missed the match due to an injury.

Cordoba rounded out the scoring three minutes later after timing his run perfectly to stay onside and latch onto James Rodríguez’s long ball before calmly slotting his finish past Sequeira.

“Everything that was planned during the week was done and the truth is that I’m very happy to contribute to my team-mates, not just because of the goal,” Cordoba said after the match.

The 31-year-old striker, who plays for FK Krasnodar, started in place of Rafael Santos Borre, who is nursing an ankle problem.

He added that coach Lorenzo asked him to always go forward, find space in defence and make the most of his power. “This brought a lot to the team and when James sent me the ball, thank God the goal came”.

“I’m very happy, not just because of the goal, but for the team, because it has evolved during the week, it’s part of the confidence of the moment,” Cordoba said.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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