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Brazil draws Colombia to advance, set to face Uruguay in quarters


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Colombia coach Néstor Lorenzo challenged his team to stay sharp and energized through every physical and emotional moment against mighty Brazil, all the way through two scorching-hot halves of soccer and nearly another 10 minutes of stoppage time.

“This was a match that we all wanted to have our strong moments of play, and I think we have taken another step forward," Lorenzo said. “With Brazil, you cannot be careless not even one second."

Daniel Muñoz scored the tying goal in the first-half stoppage time, and Colombia won its first-round group at the Copa America with a 1-1 draw against Brazil on Tuesday night that extended its unbeaten streak to 26 games.

Colombia goalkeeper Camilo Vargas saved Brazil's final chance on a shot by Andreas Pereira in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.

Colombia plays Panama in a quarterfinal on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona, while Brazil fell into what appears to be a more difficult game against Uruguay later that night at Las Vegas.

“It will be a difficult game against Uruguay, but they also know they will have a difficult game against Brazil," Brazil coach Dorival Júnior said.

Los Cafeteros, who finished with seven points to Brazil's five, had back-to-back scoring chances in the 84th minute but couldn't capitalize.

Brazil went ahead in the 12th minute when Raphinha launched a left-footed free kick into the upper right corner of the net just above the outstretched hand of Vargas.

The Brazilian winger jumped and pumped his fist as the seasoned Seleção struck first at Levi's Stadium, home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.

Players put on an entertaining show in the Group D finale, with Brazil’s Bruno Guimarães calling Colombia “a stone in our shoe” in the lead-up to Tuesday.

“There’s a sense of satisfaction after playing such a strong opponent,” Lorenzo said. “Now we need to think about Panama.”

What was expected to be a tense, foul-filled match more than lived up to that hype, featuring five yellow cards as a sea of jerseys of the same color representing both countries packed the seats — once the fans finally got inside, that is. Some scanning equipment became very hot and slowed the entry process.

A crowd of 70,971 attended the game, and the 24 group-stage games drew 1,115,400 for an average of 46,475.

The Bay Area is facing an excessive heat warning and the temperature at kickoff was 98 degrees — though about half the field on one sideline was shaded.

In the eighth minute, James Rodríguez had Colombia's best early chance when he hit the bar on a left-footed shot on a direct free kick from outside the penalty area He had another shot in the 16th that sailed high.

The midfielder, who turns 33 on July 12, has three assists this tournament for Los Cafeteros.

“It was like a final. It was super competitive game," he said. “It’s such a thrill facing star players. It’s the beautiful part of all this. ... There’s still a lot of work to do and on Saturday we have to come out and play very focused.”

Brazil, a team so accustomed to chasing championships in this event, faces a tougher road without a win against Colombia.

The Seleção have captured nine Copa titles and were runner-up in the 2021 tournament.

Colombia already had secured its spot in the quarterfinal round and has a 26-match unbeaten streak — including a 5-1 victory against the U.S. in a pre-tournament friendly, while Brazil then settled for a 1-1 draw with the Americans four days later in another tuneup.

Colombia beat Brazil 2-1 last year in the South American qualifiers and their first meeting since three matchups in 2021, when Brazil topped Colombia 2-1 in the Copa America.


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