Brazil into Copa quarters after 1-1 draw with Colombia

Brazil and Colombia battled to a thrilling 1-1 draw in California on Tuesday, setting the stage for an exciting Copa America quarter-final clash between Brazil and Uruguay. Colombia, topping Group D with seven points, will meet Panama in the quarter-finals.

Daniel Munoz’s first-half goal for Colombia balanced out Raphinha’s impressive early free kick for Brazil. The draw extended Colombia’s unbeaten run to 26 games, although it ended their 10-match winning streak.

“It was a game we were eager to play to gauge our progress as a team. I believe we made another step forward today,” stated Colombia coach Nestor Lorenzo. “Against Brazil, you cannot afford to lose focus even for a moment. We feel satisfied with this result against a tough opponent and will now turn our attention to Panama.”

Brazil defender Marquinhos acknowledged the team’s need for improvement, saying, “We must be honest with ourselves; there is still much room for growth and improvement, especially in these major matches.”

Brazil played out an action-packed 1-1 draw with Colombia in California on Tuesday to set up a mouth-watering Copa America quarter-final against Uruguay.

Colombia, who finished top of Group D on seven points, will face Panama in the last eight.

Daniel Munoz’s first-half strike for Colombia cancelled out an impressive early free kick from Brazil’s Raphinha. The result extended Colombia’s unbeaten streak to 26 matches, though it did mark the end of their 10-match winning run.

“It was a match we all wanted to play to measure ourselves in a good moment for the team. I think we took another step forward today,” Colombia coach Nestor Lorenzo said.
“With Brazil you cannot neglect the team even for a second. The feeling is one of satisfaction against a complicated opponent and now we are going to think about Panama.”

Brazil defender Marquinhos said the team are not firing on all cylinders yet.
“We have to be honest with ourselves, we still have a lot to grow, a lot to improve, especially in these big games,” he added.

The contest between Colombia, undefeated since March 2022, and five-time World Cup champions Brazil certainly lived up to its explosive expectations as both teams clashed fiercely from the outset.

In a frenetic opening quarter of an hour at Levi’s Stadium, Vinicius Jr received a yellow card for inadvertently striking James Rodriguez while battling for a loose ball, a caution that sidelines the winger for the Uruguay match. Rodriguez almost netted the first goal, hitting the crossbar from the ensuing free kick.

However, it was Raphinha who stole the spotlight in the 12th minute, curling a magnificent free kick into the top corner to put Brazil ahead. Colombia believed they had levelled the score when Davinson Sanchez headed in Rodriguez’s dangerous cross, but the goal was ruled out for offside following a lengthy VAR review.

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Brazil appealed for a penalty in the 42nd minute when Munoz brought down Vinicius in the area, but television replays revealed that the Colombian defender had made contact with the ball.

Colombian forward Jhon Cordoba discovered a gap on the edge of the penalty area and delivered an exquisite through ball to Munoz, who blasted his shot into the net to equalise during first-half injury time.

Despite the scorching heat in California, the intensity remained high after the interval. Raphinha nearly scored from another free kick in the 59th minute, narrowly missing the post. Colombia also had opportunities to score in the second half, with the best chance falling to substitute Rafael Borre, who shot over the bar from close range.

Colombian goalkeeper Camilo Vargas had to be alert to deny Brazil’s substitute Andreas Pereira’s dipping long-range shot deep into added time.

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