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Jul 6, 2024 8:16 pm

Colombia routs Panama to reach Copa America semis

Colombia

Heavily favored Colombia got a goal and an assist from James Rodriguez in the opening 15 minutes and went on to defeat upstart Panama 5-0 in a quarterfinal match of Copa America in Glendale, Ariz., on Saturday.

Rodriguez also added an assist to a soul-crushing score just before the half as Colombia extended its unbeaten streak to 27 matches in advancing to the semifinals in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday vs. the winner of Brazil-Uruguay from later Saturday.

Hopes of a Panamanian upset were dealt a blow when just eight minutes after kickoff, Jhon Cordoba scored off a corner kick by Rodriguez, who doubled the score in the 15th minute on a penalty kick.

While Panama settled down to produce several near-goals, Rodriguez caught the Panamanians napping on a restart and sent a ball over the top from the center circle to Luis Diaz for an 18-yard chip in the 41st minute for the three-goal margin.

Rodriguez has five assists in the four tournament matches.

Panama is ranked 43rd in the world compared to No. 12 for Colombia but was one of the surprise teams in the tournament by reaching the knockout stage for the first time.

The Panamanians entered the match off consecutive victories over the U.S. and Bolivia to finish second in Group C behind Uruguay but Colombia grabbed the match quickly.

A Rodriguez corner kick was headed in by Cordoba despite being wrapped up by a defender.

The lead became 2-0 following goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera’s foul on Jhon Arias. Rodriguez from the spot buried his 28th goal for Colombia.

Panama had a glorious chance in the 18th minute but a powerful header by Roderick Miller hit the right post and caromed off the left shoulder of keeper Camilo Vargas.

Richard Rios scored in the 70th minute with a strike from outside the box and Miguel Borja scored another penalty in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time.

–Field Level Media

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