Copa America: Colombia loses to Peru 2-0 in extra time

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Juan Vargas celebrates goal against Colombia in 111 minute (AFP, Antonio Scorza)

Colombia lost to Peru 2-0 in extra time Saturday, ending their time in the Copa America and advancing Peru to the semifinals, facing the winner of the Uruguay and Argentina game.

Peru’s goals came in the 101 minute of the game, by midfielder Carlos Lobaton, and the 111 minute, by another midfielder Juan Vargas.

The goals came as a shock to Colombian fans, as the team was having a banner run up to the game, winning Group A, over the heavily favored Argentina. Also, they were in control of much of the game. Their best opportunity came in the second half, after a penalty. But, Colombian striker Radamel Falacao missed the ensuing penalty kick in the 65 minute and the game was taken to extra time.

“It came down to scoring. We couldn’t capitalize,” Colombia coach Hernan Dario Gomez said, the Associated Press reported. “It came to details, because we have the scorers. Falcao never misses, he never misses.”

Colombia gained its favorite status in the first round, after not allowing a goal in the first three games.

“I salute them because they applied themselves really well,” Peru coach Sergio Markarian told the AFP about Colombia’s play. “They showed great tactical discipline, were committed and made a great effort.”

This is the first time since 1997 that Peru is in the semi-finals. And should they win it will be the first time since 1975. Colombia won in 2001 when they hosted the games.

The Copa America is held once every two years and is currently being played in Argentina. The football tournament features all of the South American countries as well as two invited teams. This year those teams, Costa Rica and Mexico, lost early. Argentina and Uruguay are playing tonight. Brasil, Paraguay, Chile and Venezuela play Sunday.

Peru continues to advance without the play of two of their top strikers, Jefferson Farfan and Claudio Pizarro.

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