Carlos Bacca scored the game-winner in the first half for Colombia, as the South Americans defeated the United States Men's National Team, 1-0, in the third-place match of the Copa America Centenario.
A third-place finish would have been a personal best for the Yanks, but their hopes of getting the win took a bit of a hit before the game was even underway. Both John Brooks and Fabian Johnson were held out of the match with minor injuries, with Matt Besler and Michael Orozco taking their respective spots in the lineup. Tim Howard got the nod in goal over Brad Guzan in what could very well be the last competitive match we see the former Everton shot-stopper play for the Red, White & Blue.
For a game with not much riding on it, both teams brought a surprising level of physicality with a couple yellow cards being brandished.
While the game was relatively open, the U.S. struggled to create many clear-cut chances in the first half and eventually paid for it in the 31st minute. Juan Cuadrado cut a ball back to the top of the 18-yard box for Real Madrid star James Rodriguez. The Colombia captain chipped a pass toward the end line to Santiago Arias, whose header across the face of goal found Bacca, and he made no mistake in slotting the cross home.
The second half saw a rejuvenated U.S. create far better scoring chances, but none was better than Clint Dempsey's free kick. From around 25 yards out, the Seattle Sounders man struck a perfect free kick that seemed destined for the upper right corner of the net. Unfortunately for the Americans, Colombian keeper David Ospina managed to paw away the strike, much like he did when the teams met in the opening match of the tournament.
The match ended on a sour note, as both Orozco and Arias were given back-to-back red cards. Orozco earned his by pushing Arias down, striking the Colombian in the face with two minutes to go in stoppage time.
The Yanks end their duties as hosts with a fourth-place finish, and will be back in action in September to resume World Cup qualifying.