James inspires 10-man Colombia to Copa final


James Rodríguez served up his sixth assist of the tournament to help 10-man Colombia beat Uruguay 1-0 in Charlotte on Wednesday to set up a Copa América final against Argentina.

Argentina beat Canada 2-0 in the first semifinal on Tuesday to book their place in Sunday’s final in Miami Gardens.

Victory for Colombia Wednesday meant they extended their unbeaten run to a team-record 28 games, dating back to a loss to Argentina in February 2022.

In a contentious match that included seven yellow cards and one red, players from both teams pushed and shoved in a scrum on the field at the final whistle and some players went into the stands to scrap with fans.

Jefferson Lerma scored the only goal of the game in front of a fervent and overwhelmingly pro-Colombia crowd at Bank of America Stadium when he headed in a deep corner from James in the 39th minute.

James Rodríguez was again Colombia’s inspiration in their semifinal win over Uruguay.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images


James becomes the first South American player with six assists at a single major tournament since Pelé for Brazil at the 1970 World Cup.

Colombia’s task of maintaining their advantage was complicated when defender Daniel Muñoz was sent off in first-half stoppage time after receiving a second yellow card for swinging an elbow at Uruguay’s Manuel Ugarte.

But despite multiple opportunities for Liverpool striker Darwin Núñez and substitute Luis Suárez striking a post, Uruguay failed to find a breakthrough against the 10 men.

Colombia also hit the crossbar late on but the one goal proved enough to reach their third Copa América final and first since 2001.

Uruguay will play Canada a day earlier in the third-place playoff on Saturday.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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