United States 2 Colombia 4: James nets stunner in six-goal thriller

James Rodriguez's magical moment was the highlight in Tampa, where Colombia surrendered a lead before seeing off USA on Thursday.

Published : Oct 12, 2018 10:38 IST

Colombia star James Rodriguez
Colombia star James Rodriguez

Colombia star James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez produced a moment of magic as Colombia withstood a United States comeback to win its entertaining international friendly 4-2.

James broke the deadlock with a stunning effort from the edge of the area in the 36th minute, only for USA to hit back and take the lead courtesy of two goals in three minutes via Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood to start the second half on Thursday.

Colombia, though, was not to be denied as Carlos Bacca, Radamel Falcao and Miguel Borja saw off the host at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Falcao unleashed a powerful volley inside the six-yard box, but his effort fizzed wide of the post in a bright start by Colombia inside three minutes.

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USA was living dangerously, though the host did manage to leave David Ospina scrambling when Julian Green curled a shot just wide.

Colombia's dominance was finally rewarded nine minutes prior to the break thanks to the brilliance of James, who collected the ball on the edge of the area, side-stepped his opponent and drifted onto his left foot before curling a ball into the far corner of the net.

Bayern Munich star James almost doubled the lead five minutes later, but the ball was somehow scrambled off the line by the lunging Matthew Miazga.

USA managed to draw level five minutes into the second half – an unmarked Acosta volleying past a helpless Ospina from Antonee Robinson's teasing delivery.

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That goal rattled Colombia and it was stunned again when Wood got in between two defenders and poked the ball into the back of the net.

USA's lead, however, was short-lived as Bacca equalised three minutes later to continue the breathtaking start to the second half.

And, Colombia took the lead again with 16 minutes remaining – USA unable to deal with a long ball down the field as Falcao side-footed a shot beyond Zack Steffen before substitute Borja added some gloss to the scoreline.

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What does it mean: USA's defensive frailties still a worry

USA showed that it can compete at times with the best, but the same problems remain in defence. In the first half, especially, the Americans were carved open at will by Colombia. While it managed to take the lead, USA's weaknesses were exposed one too many times defensively.

James stunner lights up Tampa

With 22 international goals to his name, James has scored some stunners, but Thursday's effort was right up there among the best. Wanting to capitalise on Colombia's superiority in the first half, James took matters into his own hands. The 67-time international received the ball from the edge of the area and picked out the top corner.

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Defensive lapses make life difficult for Colombia

Colombia was cruising in Florida, where the lead should have been greater at half-time. Its failure to put USA to the sword and two poor periods of defending opened the door for the home side. The way Acosta and Wood scored with ease so soon after half-time would have infuriated Arturo Reyes.

What's next?

USA travels to Connecticut for Tuesday's friendly against Peru, while Colombia and Costa Rica do battle in New Jersey on the same day.

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