Brazil Draw 1-1 with Colombia, Vinicius Jr. to Miss Uruguay Clash

Vinicius Jr. and Daniel Munoz
Vinicius Jr. and Daniel Munoz (PC: B/R Football/X)

Brazil’s final Group D match in the ongoing 2024 Copa America ended in a 1-1 draw against Colombia. James Rodriguez and his team topped the group with 7 points (2 wins, 1 draw), while Brazil secured the second position with 5 points (1 win, 2 draws). Consequently, in the quarterfinals, Colombia will face the second-placed team from Group C, Panama, while Brazil will confront one of the tournament’s most formidable contenders, Uruguay.

Colombia have been in exceptional form, coming into this match with a 25-game unbeaten streak and 10 consecutive wins. Their last defeat was against the current world champions, Argentina (1-0), in a 2022 World Cup qualification match, which ended their chances of making that tournament. Since then, under Nestor Lorenzo, they have been relentless. In the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers, they defeated Brazil 2-1 in November 2023.

Both teams made one change each from their previous lineups. For Colombia, Deiver Machado replaced Jhon Mojica in the defence, while Brazil’s coach, Dorival Junior, brought back Raphinha in place of Savio. This decision surprised many Brazil fans, as Savio had been one of the standout performers in the first two games, creating opportunities, scoring goals, and making impactful runs into the opposition’s defensive third.

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Raphinha after scoring free-kick vs Colombia
Raphinha after scoring free-kick vs Colombia (PC: X)

However, Raphinha, the FC Barcelona winger, justified Junior’s decision by scoring a stunning free-kick in the 12th minute, placing the ball into the top-left corner, with Camilo Vargas, Colombia’s goalkeeper, managing only a slight touch that wasn’t enough to keep the ball out. Colombia continued to attack relentlessly, keeping Brazil’s defenders on their toes.

James, the tournament’s leading assist provider with three, was in great form, orchestrating play and making runs into the box to take shots. In the 20th minute, Davidson Sanchez connected with a header from a beautiful delivery from James, but the assistant referee immediately ruled it out for offside. In time added on at the end of the first half, Daniel Munoz, Colombia’s right-back, equalised, beating Alisson with an excellent finish from a pass by Jhon Cordoba inside Brazil’s box.

In the second half, both teams played with more attacking intent but failed to penetrate the final third with precision. For Brazil, substitutes Savio and Endrick couldn’t make an immediate impact. The lack of an experienced, proper No.9 in Brazil’s squad has been a notable issue, evident in this match as well. Meanwhile, for Colombia, Rafael Borre replaced Cordoba and had a golden chance to seal the game in the 85th minute. Luis Diaz, Liverpool’s star winger, sent an excellent low cross across the goal, but Borre sent the ball over the crossbar, leaving Colombia fans in disbelief.

Both teams continued to search for a winning goal, and Andreas Pereira smashed one over the bar from distance, but ultimately, the draw was a fair result. Brazil now face a rampant Uruguay in the last eight, and Vinicius Jr. will miss the tie after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament. The stage might be set for Endrick to announce himself against Marcelo Bielsa’s formidable side. On paper, Colombia have a far less arduous task, with Panama their surprise opponents after beating the USA, the hosts.

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