Copa América - Colombia edge past Costa Rica

Sun, 03 Jul 09:42:00 2011

Colombia squeezed past 10-man Costa Rica with a 1-0 victory in Group A of the Copa America in San Salvador de Jujuy.

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Costa Rica lost influential forward Randall Brenes in the first-half to a straight red card and found it difficult from then on. And when Adrian Ramos opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, it was enough to kill them off.

Colombia started the game brightly with Ramos forcing a good save from Leonel Moreira in the opening minutes and Radamel Falcao nearly getting on the end of a Dayro Moreno cross but Costa Rica dealt with the early danger.

Costa Rica seemed to have weathered the storm and were coming into the game although they were guilty of some overly strong challenges, two of which resulted in bookings for Diego Madrigal and Francisco Calvo. Meanwhile David Guzman saw yellow for taking a free-kick early.

The worst of the challenges came after 28 minutes when Luis Perea played the ball out of defence and Brenes lunged in, putting six studs in the side of Perea's knee.

Brenes got a straight red card for his aberration and he can have no complaints.

Colombia went on the attack replacing Abel Aguilar with Hugo Rodallega and really going for the kill.

It took them another 15 minutes to break the deadlock though when Ramos latched on to a great through ball from Fredy Guarin, rounded the goalkeeper and made no mistake with a simple finish.

The second half produced few highlights as Colombia dominated possession and territory but could not make it pay.

Falcao came close as he crashed a Guarin cross against the crossbar, but that was as close as either side came to adding to the scoreline.

Guarin was the man to get in the most efforts on goal over the course of the game, but unfortunately he was well off target with the vast majority.

Costa Rica battled hard but find themselves bottom of Group A with no points whereas Colombia shoot to the top with three.

Phil Haigh / Eurosport

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