Colombia cling on to 1-0 win over Uruguay in Copa America semifinal

Published: 03:05 BST, 11 July 2024 | Updated: 03:05 BST, 11 July 2024

They say Premier League matches could soon be played in the USA. In a way, they already are.

Darwin Nunez misses, mazy Luis Diaz runs, Luis Suarez hysterics, lung-busting end-to-end action - you'd be forgiven for forgetting that this match was a Copa America semifinal taking place in North Carolina.

Wednesday's matchup between Colombia and Uruguay - played in an American footballs stadium, no less - had an overwhelming Premier League flavor as Colombia clung to a 1-0 win in an extremely heated clash.

Really, there was something for everybody, including Darwin Nunez's many skeptics after the Liverpool forward burned three chances in the first half - one which caused teammate Federico Valverde to pound the floor in frustration.

There would be plenty more British-based influence.

Liverpool's Darwin Nunez had a brutal night as he missed several great chances to score

Crystal Palace's Jefferson Lerma notched the lone goal for Cololmbia, who are now in the Copa America finals

Crystal Palace midfielder Jefferson Lerma scored the opener for Colombia, who also started Liverpool's Luis Diaz and former Spurs midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur.

Lerma's Eagles teammate Daniel Munoz was also sent off for a second, silly yellow card on the stroke of half time when he elbowed Manuel Ugarte, while Man United's Facundo Pellestri bustled up and down the wing - without much luck.

And Liverpool legend - and current Inter Miami star - Luis Suarez was brought on as a second half-substitute with Uruguay chasing a goal. He almost just got them one when he hit the post from inside the box.

Make no mistake about it, though: despite the current Premier League players and alums, this was a decidedly South American affair, as a sea of yellow filled the Bank of America Stadium stands, and the streets of Charlotte before.

One Colombian reporter even performed a prayer in Spanish right before kick off.

He may have needed it during a hectic, end-to-end night that saw Colombia clinging to their slender lead towards the end.

Things seemed to go off the rails for Colombia when Richard Rios got hurt in the second half. Not necessarily because of his play prior, but because of the feverish reaction it elicited as Uruguay continued play with him crumpled in the corner.

James Rodriguez angrily beelined the referee and got in his face during the next stoppage and was subsequently booked. The yellow didn't do much damage, but the moment of madness saw Uruguay creep back in the game.

Nunez again saw a chance go begging when the ball got stuck in his feet in the box, before Colombia's Camilo Vargas made a fairly miraculous diving save in the 68th minute.

There was a (discarded) penalty shout too, and more memorably a chance that the ever-lethal Suarez spurned from close in the 71st minute.

The miss caused him to fall to the ground in anguish, before Valverde whizzed a shot wide minutes later.

Colombia, barely, would hold on despite sub Mateus Uribe missing two golden chances after coming on as a sub. The first of which, in the 88th minute, was hit wide from point-blank range and the second - which was even harder to miss - somehow ricocheting off of Rochet onto the bar.

Uruguay kept pushing - after Maximiliano Araujo saw his shot saved in the 88th - but ultimately came up short.

More to follow

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