Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Sports

U.S. falls to Colombia in Copa America third-place game

GLENDALE, Ariz.— Carlos Bacca beat goalkeeper Tim Howard by sliding to poke in a headed cross in the 31st minute, and the United States finished fourth in the Copa America with a 1-0 loss to Colombia on Saturday night.

After losing to Argentina 4-0 in the semifinals, the 31st-ranked Americans were beaten by No. 3 Colombia for the second time in the 16-nation tournament.

Bobby Wood came closest to scoring for the United States when he hit a post in the 62nd minute.

The Americans matched their previous best finish in the tournament when it lost to Colombia in the 1995 third-place game.

Both teams finished a man short, when American defender Michael Orozco and Colombian defender Santiago Arias were ejected for a confrontation in the third minute of second-half stoppage time. Orozco is suspended the team's World Cup qualifier at St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2, and Arias for Colombia's qualifier against Venezuela.

COPA FINAL: Another year, another final for Lionel Messi and Argentina.

They made it to the 2014 World Cup championship match — and lost 1-0 in extra time to Germany. They made it to the 2015 Copa America final — and lost on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw with Chile. Two games, and no goals for Messi, or any of his teammates.

Now with a special Centennial Copa America celebrating the 100th anniversary of South America's championship, La Albiceleste gets a rematch against Chile tonight at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., seeking their first major title in 23 years.

"We've been spectacular from Day 1," Messi said after scoring twice in a 4-0 win over the United States in the semifinals, "and we deserved this."

Argentina beat Chile 2-1 to open the tournament — without Messi, who was out with an injury.

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP: The quarterfinals started to take shape after three drab matches that will live forever in the record books but not in the memory.

The start of the round of 16 saw Poland, Portugal and Wales make it to the final eight.

Poland qualified for the quarters for the first time after it converted all its penalties to beat Switzerland 5-4 in a shootout in Saint-Etienne, France. After a 1-1 draw that Switzerland had dominated, Grzegorz Krychowiak stepped up to score the winner.

Krychowiak's spot kick capped an impressive display by Poland during the shootout. The only player to miss was Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka, who fired wide of the left post.

Poland's opponent in the quarters is Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal after its 1-0 win over Croatia during extra time in Lens. The match had been labeled as one of the best of the round, but it didn't really take off until both sides were staring at the prospect of a penalty shootout. Substitute Ricardo Quaresma scored the lone goal in the match in the 117th minute with Portugal's only serious attack.

The day's first match, Wales and Northern Ireland in Paris, had even fewer highlights. Wales won 1-0 thanks to a 75th-minute own-goal by Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley. Gareth Bale crossed the ball that McAuley tipped into the net.

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