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Colombia advances with overwhelming win

Colombia advances with overwhelming win

Jhon Cordoba, James Rodriguez and Luis Diaz scored goals during a dominant first half to spark Colombia to a 5-0 win over Panama in the quarterfinals of the Copa America on Saturday (Jul 6).

Colombia – which came into Saturday on a 26-match unbeaten streak – wasted little time on No. 27 when Cordoba’s well-placed header in the eighth minute found the bottom corner of the net following a corner kick from Rodriguez.

Los Cafeteros pushed ahead 2-0 less than 10 minutes later on Rodriguez’s powerful penalty kick. Colombia was awarded the penalty after Panama goalie Orlando Mosquera tripped up Colombia’s Jhon Arias, who was sprinting to save the ball from going out of bounds near the post.

It was the 32-year-old Rodriguez’s 28th goal in international play and his all-around excellence was on full display against Panama.

Colombia made it 3-0 in the 41st minute when Díaz lobbed a shot over Mosquera, who had charged forward during the breakaway. The goal was set up by another good pass from Rodriguez.

Panama had a few decent chances to score in the first half, including a header that bounced off the post before being swatted out of danger by Colombia goalie Camilo Vargas.

But Los Canaleros could never make a dent in the lead.

Colombia scored its fourth goal in the 70th minute when Richard Ríos blasted a long right-footed shot past Mosquera into the bottom left corner of the net. The final goal came in stoppage time when Miguel Borja converted a penalty kick.

Los Cafeteros had a slight advantage in time of possession at 52%, but the quality of their possessions was far superior.

Colombia will play in the semifinals on Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, against Uruguay, which beat Brazil 4-2 on penalty kicks later Saturday.