FOOTBALL: Colombia outclasses U.S. men, 4-2, in Tampa

Colombian star striker James Rodriguez

The U.S. men’s national team reversed a halftime deficit and had a 2-1 lead over South American power Colombia at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa before the visitors took the game to another level … and the U.S. couldn’t keep up, losing 4-2.

After a stunning tying goal from Kellyn Acosta in the 50th minute, where he ran from well outside the box onto an Antonee Robinson pass, the pro-Colombian crowd was silenced when Bobby Wood toe-punched the ball into the goal off a Tim Weah pass right in front of the box in the 53rd minute.

The 2-1 U.S. lead didn’t last long, however, as Santiago Arias’s cross in front of the goal was met by Carlos Bacca and he slid it into the goal for a tie in the 56th minute.

Colombia had the better run of play from then on and found the net again in the 74th minute on a counter-attack, as a James Rodriguez clearance was eventually served to Juan Quintero, whose pass into the box was finished with a strike by Radamel Falcao that gave Colombia the lead and sent the majority of the crowd of 38,631 into a frenzy.

The scoring was finished just five minutes later when Miguel Borja twisted his body into the air to get his right foot onto a pinpoint Rodriguez cross from the other side of the box and send a laser past U.S. keeper Zack Steffen for the 4-2 final.

Rodriguez opened the scoring in the 36th minute with a sensational, curling shot from the right side of the box that found the upper left corner of the net, well beyond Steffen’s reach for a 1-0 lead.

Colombia was simply better than the U.S. and it showed, as they dominated possession and had the ability to finish with precision. The gap was obvious and the U.S. fell to 3-13-4 vs. Colombia all-time.

Next up for the U.S. is another friendly, vs. Peru on Tuesday, 16 October in East Hartford, Connecticut, at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, shown on ESPN2, UniMas and UDN.

The U.S. is still looking for a coach and the indications are that the announcement could come by the end of this month. Dave Sarachan has been the interim coach since the end of October, 2017, after the U.S. failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.