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Uruguay national football team
Copa America | Semi-Finals
Jul 11, 2024 at 1am UK
Bank of America Stadium
Colombia national football team

0 - 1

de la Cruz (26'), Varela (63'), Gimenez (69')
Varela (90+8')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Lerma (39')
Munoz (31'), Rodriguez (55'), Castano (90+6'), Cuesta (90+7')
Munoz (45+1')

Preview: Uruguay vs. Colombia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Copa America clash between Uruguay and Colombia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Fighting for the right to head to Florida and compete in the Copa America final, Uruguay and Colombia clash in a mouthwatering semi-final at the Bank of America Stadium in North Carolina on Wednesday.

While Marcelo Bielsa's men needed the lottery of a penalty shootout to edge out Brazil, the clinical Colombians smashed five past a beleaguered Panama without reply in the quarter-finals.

Match preview

Uruguay manager Marcelo Bielsa before their June 2024 friendly with Mexico© Reuters

Enhancing their reputation as one of the meanest defences South America has to offer, Uruguay kept Brazil off the scoresheet for 120 minutes of their quarter-final encounter even after suffering a pair of devastating blows at the back,

In spite of Ronald Araujo's first-half injury and Nahitan Nandez's second-half red card, Bielsa's men held out for a 12-yard shootout, where Eder Militao's effort was kept out by Sergio Rochet and Juventus new boy Douglas Luiz failed to find the mark.

While Uruguay stalwart Jose Gimenez could not beat Alisson Becker, his blushes were spared by Federico Valverde, Rodrigo Bentancur, Giorgian de Arrascaeta and finally Manuel Ugarte, as Uruguay ended their 13-year exile from the semi-finals of the Copa America.

Not since winning their 15th and most recent title in the 2011 edition have La Celeste been present in the final four - going out in the quarter-finals in three of the last four editions - but a Florida sojourn is a highly realistic aim for a side now boasting five wins on the bounce.

In that time, Bielsa's men have conceded just the one goal - to Panama in their opening 3-1 group-stage success - but fresh defensive concerns rearing their ugly heads will undoubtedly threaten their remarkable rearguard record, and indeed their place in the showpiece match.

Colombia coach Nestor Lorenzo© Reuters

While Uruguay failed to keep Panama off the scoresheet in their Copa opener, a captivating Colombia outfit ran into no such defensive difficulties in their quarter-final showdown, striking five times through five different scorers to storm into the final four.

James Rodriguez, Jhon Cordoba, Luis Diaz, Richard Rios and Miguel Borja all played their direct part in a 5-0 annihilation in Arizona, which saw Nestor Lorenzo's men either match or break multiple national team records, including their biggest-ever margin of victory in a Copa America match.

In addition, the tremendous Tricolour are now on a 27-game unbeaten streak across all tournaments since losing to Argentina in a February 2022 World Cup qualifier, and should they prevail on Wednesday and reach the final, they will set a new record for their longest-ever sequence without defeat.

Colombia's 10-game victorious streak may have been snapped in their final group-stage draw with Brazil, but that 1-1 represents the most minor of minor blots on the Tricolour notebook, and they have now progressed to the semi-finals in three of the last four Copa Americas.

However, not since their inaugural and only triumph at the tournament in 2001 have the 2021 and 2016 bronze medallists progressed to the final, and their last two encounters with Uruguay have both ended level, but their penalty prowess came to the fore when they defeated La Celeste in the Copa quarters three years back.

Uruguay Copa America form:

Uruguay form (all competitions):

Colombia Copa America form:

Colombia form (all competitions):

Team News

Uruguay's Nahitan Nandez pictured on July 7, 2024© Reuters

With 74 minutes played in Uruguay's beating of Brazil, Nandez was made to take the walk of shame for a horrendous studs-up tackle on Rodrygo, meaning that the versatile right-back will miss Wednesday's semi through suspension.

To make matters even worse for Bielsa, fellow defender and key Barcelona figure Araujo lasted just 33 minutes before succumbing to an apparent leg injury, which will reportedly rule him out for the rest of the tournament and for up to eight weeks.

Araujo's crushing absence should see the door swing open for Atletico Madrid stalwart Gimenez to return to the Celeste defence, while Flamengo's Guillermo Varela - formerly of Manchester United and Real Madrid - should replace the banned Nandez.

In contrast, Colombia will be significantly boosted by a player returning from the naughty step, as Crystal Palace's Jefferson Lerma sat out the thumping of Panama on account of picking up two yellow cards in the group stage.

Mateus Uribe stepped in for Lerma in the quarter-final and was coincidentally the only Colombia player cautioned in the 5-0 success, but the Qatar-based lynchpin should now immediately make way for his Premier League counterpart.

Lozano otherwise has no need to shuffle the pack after an Arizona attacking masterclass, where Rodriguez had a hand in all three first-half goals; with two assists alongside his goal, he is just the second player on record to set up five goals in one Copa America campaign since data became available in 2011.

Uruguay possible starting lineup:
Rochet; Varela, Gimenez, Olivera, Vina; Valverde, Ugarte; Pellistri, De la Cruz, Araujo; Nunez

Colombia possible starting lineup:
Vargas; Munoz, Sanchez, Cuesta, Mojica; Rios, Lerma; J. Arias, Rodriguez, Diaz; Cordoba

SM words green background

We say: Uruguay 1-2 Colombia

Uruguay's defensive exploits both during and in the build-up to the Copa America have been nothing short of sensational, but with Araujo gone and Nandez banned, a reshuffle spells danger against a seemingly invincible Colombia.

Bielsa's men will no doubt give the Tricolour a magnificent run for their money, but we still cannot picture a scenario in which Lozano's Rodriguez-inspired men fail to set up a tantalising final versus Argentina or Canada, forcing Uruguay to battle for bronze instead.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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FC Barcelona's Lamine Yamal and Ronald Araujo during the warm up before the match on June 28, 2024
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Group A

Q Argentina Argentina33009
Q Canada Canada31114
3 Chile Chile30212
4 Peru flag Peru30121

Group B

Q Venezuela Venezuela33009
Q Ecuador flag Ecuador31114
3 Mexico Mexico31114
4 Jamaica Jamaica30030

Group C

Q Uruguay flag Uruguay33009
Q Panama flag Panama32016
3 United States USA31023
4 Bolivia flag Bolivia30030

Group D

Q Colombia Colombia32107
Q Brazil Brazil31205
3 Costa Rica flag Costa Rica31114
4 Paraguay flag Paraguay30030

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