From the hand of David Ospina, Colombia has left the couch. Reinaldo Rueda’s team wasted intensity to draw goalless against Uruguay, and in the penalty shootout he finished exorcising his demons to bring down the Charruas. The goalkeeper and captain of the coffee growers, who was playing his 112th game as an international, more than any other Colombian, stopped two of the sky-high charges to get his team into the semifinals of the Copa América.
For Colombia, the challenge of the quarterfinals was largely defined by their absences. It was planted on the lawn of the Mané Garrincha stadium in Brasilia without James and Falcao, who were not called, nor did Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, suspended. In addition to those three historical figures, he lost another fundamental piece with Matheus Uribe, who had a great season at Porto, who will miss the remainder of the tournament due to an injury to the soleus of his left leg. But before the abundance of absentees, Ospina said present.
Rueda chose to cover Uribe’s gap with Gustavo Cuéllar and surprised by relieving Cuadrado, the soul of this Colombia, on the right with another striker, Rafael Santos Borré, to accompany Duván Zapata and Luis Muriel, the pair of the Atalanta. The team deployed without a ten, by leaving Edwin Cardona on the bank and locating the elusive Lucho Díaz on the left. The experiment of rolling up the Argentine River Plate striker to close the other band worked, with a generous Santos Borré who defended and even assisted.
The game, intense, was planned as a duel between two attentive and well-planted teams, with few danger options. It took almost half an hour for Duván to warm up Fernando Muslera’s gloves with a cross shot, but the striker had been misplaced. The bull He entered the area at full power and met again with the Galatasaray goalkeeper, but crashed his closed shot against Muslera’s body in the last gasp of the first half, which ended only with that shot between the sticks.
The second half started with another tone. Lucho Díaz came out like lightning to cross a ball in the Uruguayan area that did not find a finisher, while the pupils of the Teacher Tabárez responded with a gale that presaged a round trip game, with much more vertigo. In the exchange of blows, the two veteran goalkeepers took center stage and prevented any of their teams from going to the canvas.
In a providential save, Ospina took a changed hand, while backing away, a cross from Nández that slipped into the corner of the goal. The first game that the Naples goalkeeper played with the tricolor was precisely a friendly against Uruguay on February 7, 2007. That same day he made his debut with the Uruguayan Luis Suárez, which this Saturday was canceled by Yerry Mina and Davinson Sánchez.
In the other arc, Muslera stopped a header from the gigantic Mina, the formula that has so many times unblocked matches for Colombia, and another hammered and to the floor of Zapata that he kicked out. The penalty shootout would define the semifinalist. The Atalanta forward opened the series to finally be able to score in Brazil. While the Colombians hit the full of their charges (with Zapata, Sánchez, Mina and Borja), Ospina flew to thwart the auctions of José María Giménez and Matías Viña.
The captain was in charge of endorsing that the America’s Cup has been therapeutic for the coffee growers, despite the fact that they only accumulate one victory. The Colombian Federation buried the Queiroz era after the team fell humiliated in November against Uruguay in the heat of Barranquilla (0-3) and with Ecuador at the height of Quito (6-1). The same teams that he has beaten in the continental tournament. Rueda, who took office at the beginning of the year, can boast of overcoming obstacles even without his stars. Colombia goes for everything.
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