Copa America 2011, Colombia Vs. Costa Rica: Colombia Eying Spot Atop Group A

Last night's surprising 1-1 draw between Argentina and Bolivia has thrown Group A at Copa America into flux. No longer is Argentina the lock to win the group with Colombia and Costa Rica battling it out for second place. All four spots in the group are up for grabs and the two supposed middle teams, Colombia and Costa Rica, can now aim higher. 

That sets the stage for today's match, the only match of the day, between the Ticos and Los Cafeteros. The winner of the match will move top of the group, something that is crucial because the winner of Group A will not have to face another group winner in the knockout stages until the final.

For Colombia, this is a chance to reclaim their former glory. They were the darlings of 1994 World Cup qualifying and a darkhorse at the 1994 finals, but were dumped out in the group stage. The country kept a good team though, reaching their high point in 2001 when they won Copa America on home soil. Ever since, they have struggled to keep up with the best in CONMEBOL. This tournament may change that. Radamel Falcao has emerged as one of the top strikers on the continent and he's supported by Hugo Rodallega and Jackson Martinez.

It will be a challenge for Costa Rica to handle the attacking talent of Colombia, especially with the youth they have in their team. Their top players from the Gold Cup have gone back to their clubs and a young, inexperienced team is set for Copa America. Nine players without a cap are on the roster, making any sort of success in the tournament a very long shot.

If Costa Rica can get a result today in Jujuy they will have done their job. Realistically, asking that of them is too much and the attacking prowess of the Colombians will probably do them in. Colombia won't complain about not getting to play the Ticos top squad either, taking their three points and spot atop the group with a smile.

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