Final, 2-0 Colombia: The referee blows the final whistle. Colombia defeats the United States in the opening game of Copa America 2016.
The United States’ performance was as disappointing as the result, as Colombia coasted to victory and the top of Group A. Set-piece goals from Zapata and James allowed Colombia win comfortably, despite having less of the ball than the U.S.
Colombia takes all three points from the game and is one win away from securing passage to the knockout rounds.
The United States has just a few days to bounce back from this loss.
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90th minute, 2-0 Colombia: There will be three minutes of added time in the second half.
88th minute, 2-0 Colombia: Moreno replaces Bacca in Colombia’s final substitution.
87th minute, 2-0 Colombia: Bradley volleys his shot well wide of the Colombia goal.
Time has slipped away, and desperation has set in for Team USA.
86th minute, 2-0 Colombia: Zusi replaces Bedoya in the United States’ final substitution.
Colombia swaps Sanchez for Perez in its second change.
79th minute, 2-0 Colombia: Pulisic’s shot deflects out for a corner kick, as the U.S.’ pressure yields one of its most promising scoring chances of the game.
76th minute, 2-0 Colombia: Bacca races in behind the U.S. defense but hits the crossbar after beating Guzan with his finish.
73rd minute, 2-0 Colombia: Celis replaces James, as Colombia coach Jose Pekerman removes his goal-scorer from battle with the lead firmly secured.
70th minute, 2-0 Colombia: James is off the field receiving treatment on a suspected shoulder injury. He suffered it a few minutes prior by falling awkwardly after a challenge from Bradley.
69th minute, 2-0 Colombia: Cuadrado and Bacca combine to nearly score Colombia’s third goal, but Yedlin blocks Bacca’s shot out for a corner kick.
66th minute, 2-0 Colombia: The United States makes two substitutions, replacing Jones and Wood with Nagbe and Pulisic, respectively.
Jones is not happy with Klinsmann’s decision.
64th minute, 2-0 Colombia: Dempsey directs a free kick on target, but Ospina dives and palms it away.
60th minute, 2-0 Colombia: Dempsey heads Bradley’s corner kick on goal, but Perez clears it off the line.
57th minute, 2-0 Colombia: The referee cautions Bedoya for late foul on Murillo. It’s the first yellow card of the game.
54th minute, 2-0 Colombia: The United States’ play is becoming increasingly disjointed. Colombia’s confidence is growing, having increased its share of possession.
Brooks demonstrates Team USA’s frustration by starting a near altercation with Cuadrado following a heavy challenge on the Colombia winger.
51st minute, 2-0 Colombia: Guzan saves Cardona’s shot and snuffs out the follow-up effort, as Colombia comes close to blowing the game open.
46th minute, 2-0 Colombia: The second half of the Copa America 2016 opener is underway.
Halftime, 2-0 Colombia: The first half is over. Colombia leads the United States by two.
Frustration will reign in the U.S. camp, as Copa America 2016 has startedÂ on a sour note. Colombia scored early and late, dealing psychological blows from which Team USA will have a hard time recovering. Colombia didn’t need many chances to forge a lead. It simply made the most of the openings the United States presented.
Team USA had plenty of possession and kept the game largely in Colombia’s half but made little of those advantages. Colombia’s defense was too organized and focused for Team USA’s ordinary attack to trouble it.
45th minute, 2-0 Colombia: There will be one minute of stoppage time in the first half.
42nd minute, 2-0 Colombia: Rodriguez beats Guzan from the penalty spot and doubles Colombia’s advantage.
James hasn’t been to the spot in a while, but he remembered what to do from 12 yards out.
Colombia, however, has plenty of experience in this scenario.
It’s the Colombia hero’s first-ever goal in this tournament.
40th minute, 1-0 Colombia: The referee has awarded Colombia a penalty kick. Diaz’s cross hit Yedlin’s hand inside the U.S. penalty area. It’s a harsh call, but one that follows the the laws of the game.
Rodriguez will take the penalty kick.
36th minute, 1-0 Colombia: Dempsey curls a shot narrowly wide of Ospina’s goal.
35th minute, 1-0 Colombia: Team USA still needs better service from the wide areas. It’s moving the ball into promising positions only for moves to break down from inaccurate crossing. Perhaps it’s because that service is coming from players who aren’t natural wingers — Yedlin and Zardes on the right, Johnson and Wood on the left.
29th minute, 1-0 Colombia: The United States seeks to control the game with possession, but Colombia takes comfort in that approach as its gameplan centers around defending with numbers and counter-attacking with speed.
22nd minute, 1-0 Colombia: Cardona frees himself of Yedlin with a “sombrero” but rifles his shot straight to Guzan.
18th minute, 1-0 Colombia: The numbers don’t bode well for Team USA following Zapata’s early strike.
14th minute, 1-0 Colombia: The U.S. has reacted to the goal with increased tempo and off-the-ball aggression, looking to score an immediate game-tying goal. But Team USA’s final ball, particularly from wide areas, hasn’t been good enough to unlock Colombia’s defense.
Eighth minute, 1-0 Colombia: The U.S. falls behind early, as Zapata volleys home Cardona’s corner kick. Cameron was supposed to mark Zapata but lost him, as the Colombia defender made a curled run around the jousting Bacca and Bradley.
Team USA’s start is incredibly disappointing, as they undoubtedly have worked on defending set pieces throughout their preparations only to concede at the first moment of dead-ball danger.
There’s good reason why didn’t see a goal from Zapata coming.
But we should have seen Colombia scoring from a set piece.
Fifth minute, 0-0: Wood goes down in Colombia’s penalty area from contact with a Colombia defender. The referee declines the U.S. forward’s penalty appeals.
Fifth minute, 0-0: Nothing doing early on, as the teams open without showing much initiative.
Kickoff: USA-Colombia and Copa America 2016 are underway.
Pregame: Colombia’s starting 11 is strong and balanced.
Bacca, Rodriguez, Cuadrado and Cardona will provide plenty of attacking spark, with Perez and Torres looking to control the game’s tempo behind them.
Central defenders Zapata and Murillo play club soccer at AC Milan and Inter Milan, respectively. They’ll use their savvy and strength to frustrate U.S. attackers.
Team USA’s starting 11 is the same one that started the second half of its final Copa America warm-up game Sunday against Bolivia. That half represented the United States’ best performance in six halves of play in May, and Klinsmann relies on that group, which mixes age and experience well.
Seven of Team USA’s starters played in the 2-1 loss to Colombia in Oct. 2014.
Veteran and top scorer Dempsey will lead the U.S. attack from the middle.
Zardes and Wood have big opportunities to claim spots both in the present and the future.
Bradley, Bedoya and Jones are three of Klinsmann’s favorites. They’ll face tough and tricky opponents in the central areas, and their ability to impose themselves on Colombia will tilt the balance of play in one direction or another.
Brooks starts next to Cameron in central defense. As forÂ Wood and Zardes, this tournament marks his chance to grow into a regular national-team starter.
Meanwhile, The opening ceremony is taking place on the field, as the anticipation for Copa America 2016 builds.
9:15 p.m.: Here are the starting lineups:
9Â p.m. ET: The time has come for the United States men’s national soccer team to seize the moment.
Team USA faces Colombia on Friday in the opening game of Copa America 2016. The teams look to gain an early edge in Group A at the others’ expense and positions themselves for a successful tournament.
Colombia currently sits fourth in FIFA’s rankings. The United States is 31st in the pecking order.
The United States is participating in Copa America for just the fourth time. Its best finish to date was fourth place in 1995. The current Jurgen Klinsmann-led U.S. team is keen to demonstrate it can compete on equal-footing with the best teams in the hemisphere.
Colombia is in the midst of its finest generation since the end of last century, and Copa America 2016 gives “Los Cafeteros” its first title since 2001. Colombia is 10-3-4 all-time against the United States, with its most recent winÂ over Team USA coming in Oct. 2014 and last defeat in 2005.
USA-Colombia kicks off Copa America 2016 at 9:30 p.m. ET. Join us right here for all the action from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Thumbnail photo via Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY Sports Images