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20th of October 2018

Sport



Friendly Highlights: USMNT vs. Colombia

The U.S. men's national team had Colombia stunned for a few minutes, but the class and quality of the South American power ultimately won out.

Colombia battled back from a brief 2-1 deficit with three unanswered goals by Carlos Bacca, Radamel Falcao and Miguel Borja in a 23-minute span to beat the U.S. 4-2 in the friendly at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

A world-class James Rodriguez goal opened the scoring, but second-half answers from Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood three minutes apart gave the U.S. a surprising lead. It lasted for all of three minutes before Bacca pulled the visitors level in the 56th minute and seized momentum back on a night when Michael Bradley returned to the U.S. lineup and wore the captain's armband for the first time since last October's elimination from World Cup qualifying.

The U.S. nearly had a disaster in the third minute, when Antonee Robinson and John Brooks failed to communicate and allowed for Bacca to cross from the end line. It fell for a wide-open Falcao in the center of the box, but the veteran striker blasted his chance over the bar, much to the USA's relief.

The USA's first chance came in the ninth minute, when Robinson got forward down the left flank and slotted a pass to Julian Green. The U.S. attacker took a couple of touches to evade Wilmar Barrios and create space before sending a long-range blast towards goal, just narrowly missing the left post.

The run of play favored Colombia for the majority of the first half, though the visitors didn't seriously threaten Zack Steffen in goal despite their stretching of the U.S. defense. The U.S., meanwhile, had its best chance before the half-hour mark come on a speculative long-range effort from Kenny Saief, who failed to hit the target.

Falcao found himself with another open chance in the 36th minute, as Colombia began to pile on the pressure in the final third, but his attempt to fire on goal was blocked by John Brooks.

Colombia got its opener moments later, though. Off an extended period of possession in and around the U.S. box, James found himself with the ball just inside the right-hand side of the 18, evaded a defender and curled a left-footed beauty around a helpless Steffen and into the far upper 90 to give Colombia a 1-0 lead.

James nearly had a second in the 41st minute, only for a sliding Matt Miazga to block his close-range chance on the goal line.

Colombia could've had more in the first half but went into the break with just the 1-0 lead. The visitors were left to rue their wastefulness in the 50th minute when Acosta completed a long run through the box and volleyed home a flicked-on cross from Robinson to make it 1-1.

The U.S. shockingly went ahead moments later. Green and Tim Weah did the heavy lifting, with the former winning the ball and springing the latter for a run down the left. Weah split a pair of defenders with a pinpoint cross, while Wood split another pair of defenders to tuck in the go-ahead strike in the 53rd minute.

The lead didn't last very long. Bacca sprung free in the box to take a cross from Santiago Arias three minutes later, and he fired in a low shot to pull Colombia back on level terms at 2-2.

Colombia took the lead back by going ahead in the 74th minute. Falcao delivered the strike, with it coming at the end of a counter that started with a hopeful ball forward. Bacca beat Robinson to the ball, and he back-heeled for Juan Quintero, who fed Falcao for the first-time finish.

The lead grew to 4-2 in the 79th minute through Borja, a substitute whose flying scissor kick landed just out of Steffen's reach by the far post.

It very nearly became 5-2 moments after that, but Quintero rattled the post with a powerful blast from 25 yards.

Here were the lineups for both sides:

Here were the rosters for both teams:

USA

GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew)

DEFENDERS: John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Matt Miazga (Nantes), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), Ben Sweat (New York City FC), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle)

MIDFIELDERS: Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Jonathan Amon (Nordsjaelland), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth), Fafa Picault (Philadelphia Union), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Tim Weah (PSG)

FORWARDS: Andrija Novakovich (Fortuna Sittard), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96)

COLOMBIA

GOALKEEPERS: Álvaro Montero (Tolima), David Ospina (Napoli)

DEFENDERS: Felipe Aguilar (Atlético Nacional), Santiago Arias (Atlético Madrid), Cristian Borja (Toluca), Deiver Machado (Atlético Nacional) Jeison Murillo (Valencia), Óscar Murillo (Pachuca), Helibelton Palacios (Atlético Nacional), Davinson Sánchez (Tottenham)

MIDFIELDERS: Wílmar Barrios (Boca Juniors), Edwin Cardona (Boca Juniors), Juan Cuadrado (Juventus), Didier Moreno (Deportivo La Coruña), Juan Fernando Quintero (River Plate), Juan Daniel Roa (Indendiente Santa Fe), James Rodríguez (Bayern Munich), Mateus Uribe (Club América), Sebastián Villa (Boca Juniors)

FORWARDS: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Miguel Borja (Palmeiras), Yimmi Chará (Atlético Mineiro), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Cucho Hernández (Huesca)

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