Brasilla: David Ospina, the goalkeeper, marked turning into Colombia’s most capped member on Saturday by saving two penalties in a shoot-out to provide his country triumph over Uruguay and a place in the Copa America semi-finals.
Ospina recorded the 112th impression in Saturday’s tie in Brasilia and was the star following he kept spot-kicks from Jose Maria Gimenez and Matias Vina.
Colombia turned their initial four to improve 4-2 on penalties following a nervy contact in Brasilia that ended 0-0 after 90 minutes.
“We knew David would be decisive and that we had to score to stay in the tournament,” stated Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda. “David has always been a leader. He’s very cerebral when it comes to penalties. That’s a big help to our team.”
Uruguay entered this competition amid goal dehydration. Although they obtained twice against Bolivia, including once against Paraguay in their latest two group matches, they seemed uncomfortable upfront, with assistance to Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani sparse and neither striker shooting on all barrels.
Colombia, moreover, seemed like they dropped suspended midfield general Juan Cuadrado. Neither side bestowed much control in a game characterized by stray passes and painfully slow transitions from the back.
“I didn’t think Colombia was much better than us,” stated Uruguayan coach Oscar Tabarez. “We each had our moments. Maybe we lacked a bit more forcefulness when we had the ball. But in terms of commitment, there’s nothing I can criticize; I can only lament that we’re not going further.”
Colombia, who have gained this title only once back in 2001, will take on the victor of Saturday’s last quarter-final within Argentina and Ecuador. Host Brazil meets Peru in the different semi-final. The final is programmed for the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 10.