Colombia outlasts Peru in penalty shootouts, advance to semifinals of Copa America

In what was a match that was slow to develop for both teams, Colombia and Peru played out to a very physical and, kind of, choppy game. But it was Colombia that came out victorious in the penalty kick shootout and they will advance into the Copa America semifinals, as the eliminated the underdog Peruvians.

The first half was filled with a lot of rough challenges, many players going down with injuries and a very slow tempo, Peru and Colombia dragged along for what was a very uneventful first half. The only highlight of the first half was that James Rodriguez managed to ring one off the post in the 22nd minute. Carlos Bacca had a good chance at the rebound, but he couldn’t get a good shot and hit it off the side netting.

After what seemed like 45 long minutes, the half ended with over 10 fouls between both teams and countless players laying on the ground as their rough tackles took a toll on the players’ bodies. So in front of 79,194 Peruvian and Colombian faithful, the half ended with no score and not much doing.

The second half was not much better as it was more of the same defensive physical play that characterized the first half, also defined the second half as there were many fouls, many flops and much of the same ugliness as well.

David Ospina was the highlight of the dying moments of the half as Peru had a great chance to kill off the game in the 92nd minute but a quick stop by the Colombia goalkeeper kept them alive. The match ended with a 0-0 draw that was uninspired, yet dramatic to say the least.

What was dramatic however, were the penalty kicks that ensued after the draw were. Colombia got things started with James scoring his first one, and Peru followed suit with their own goal with Ruidiaz netting one past Ospina. From there Peru and Colombia traded goals until Peru’s Miguel Trauco tried to beat Ospina right down the middle but he was denied by the Colombian’s foot.

From there Colombia held the advantage and scored another one as Sebastian Perez netted a goal that gave los Cafeteros a 4-2 commanding lead in the penalty shootout. Then Christian Cueva came up for Peru, trying to keep the underdogs alive as all the pressure fell on him.

The pressure must have been too much for the young Peruvian as he skied the attempt and as he crumpled in defeat in the middle of the box, the Colombian squad went nuts celebrating that they have advanced to the semifinals of the Copa America once again.

What started out as a boring match, ended with some great drama to offset the drabness that was the first two halves of soccer. Now Colombia will face a daunting task as they will await the winner of the Mexico/Chile match, and either opponent will be a tough task as Colombia seemed to struggle with Peru.

About Josh Espinal

I am a multimedia journalism graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso. Soccer is more than a passion for me, it's basically life. Follow me on twitter at @joshbruv and see me tweet about soccer in almost every language imaginable.