Lerma goal edges Colombia Past Uruguay and into Copa America 2024 Final

J. Lerma after scoring his header (Left). James Rodriguez with his Player of The Match award (Image: Copa America)

Colombia will play Argentina in the Copa America 2024 final in Miami after Nestor Lorenzo’s side defeated Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay 1-0 in a tense semi-final in Charlotte. Colombia’s victory came courtesy a 38th-minute header by Jefferson Lerma from a James Rodriguez corner. Despite being reduced to ten men after Daniel Munoz received a second yellow card in the dying minutes of the first half, they managed to hold on in the second half, and could even have added to the scoreline.

The encounter was heated from the start, with both sides engaging in rough tackles. Uruguay began strongly, with Darwin Nunez, the Liverpool forward, missing a few early chances that ultimately proved costly for the Celeste.

James, the former Real Madrid star, has had a stellar campaign in the United States, tallying six assists and a goal so far. The first corner of the game came only in the 37th minute, and his pinpoint delivery was met by a perfect header from Crystal Palace defender Lerma, sending the ball into the back of the net off the near post.


The match featured multiple flashpoints, with both teams not shying away from confrontation. Another Crystal Palace defender, Munoz, already booked, got into a brawl with Manuel Ugarte and elbowed him when the ball was not in play. He didn’t get away with it and was shown a second yellow right before the halftime whistle.

Playing with ten men, Colombia defended resolutely until the very end. Uruguay’s all-time leading goal scorer, Luis Suarez, was brought on in the 67th minute, replacing a defender, Guillermo Varela, to bolster the attack. The former Barcelona striker came close to equalising in the 71st minute, but his shot hit the outside of the post. Uruguay had their fair share of chances towards the end of the game as they threw everything into attacks, which in turn allowed Colombia some space to counter, but neither team managed to alter the scoreline.

The Bank of America Stadium saw a sea of yellow in the stands. And it was the well-supported Colombia that reached the Copa America final for the first time in 23 years, and only the third time in their history. The last time they reached the final in 2001, they won their only Copa America.

Copa America 2024 Final: Argentina vs Colombia, July 15, 5:30 am IST, at the Hard Rock Stadium, Miami.