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Colombia dominates Costa Rica to reach Copa America quarterfinals


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Davinson Sánchez and Jhon Córdoba scored three minutes apart in the second half, and Colombia advanced to the Copa America quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Costa Rica 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.

“Today was a game we dominated from start to finish,” Colombia coach Néstor Lorenzo said through an interpreter.

Costa Rica had the first big surprise of the tournament, playing nine-time Copa America 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.

“The other team was clearly on another level,” Costa Rica coach Gustavo Alfaro said.

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

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.

Sánchez made it 2-0 with a header off a corner kick in the 59th minute. Córdoba scored when he slipped behind Costa Rica's defense and beat Sequeira from a tough angle.

“We’re a good team, but we also have good character," Lorenzo said.

“It’s no miracle. They’re good players,” Lorenzo said after the game, in Spanish. “The quality of the players is what makes the difference. On the field they pressure, they stick to the game plan.”


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