Copa America 2011, Colombia Vs. Costa Rica: 10-Man Ticos Down 1-0 At Half

The second match of Copa America was supposed to be all Colombia, but for the first 28 minutes it wasn't. In fact, the first 28 minutes were a complete bore with neither the Colombians nor Costa Rica able to generate anything that resembled a potent attack. Colombia dominated possession, but it was mainly passes along the backline or to midfielders dropping deep, never really taking advantage of their array for attacking talent. The Randall Brenes was shown a red card, Colombia went up a man and Adrian Ramos scored to put Colombia ahead 1-0 just before halftime.

While Costa Rica can wonder how they're supposed to beat the favored Colombians at full strength, let alone down a man, they cannot complain that Brenes was shown red. His tackle didn't cause injury, but it was a late and reckless knee-high challenge that undoubtedly deserved red.

Down a man, the Ticos couldn't continue to stymie the Colombia attack by dropping men behind the ball and closing down quickly inside of 35 yards. Colombia brought on Hugo Rodallega to add another forward to the mix and they began to generate chances. That finally paid off in the 34th minute when Fredy Guarin played a beautiful ball to spring Ramos. The 30-yard ball was perfect, getting through four Costa Rica defenders and leaving Ramos in alone on goal. He took a touch to get around the keeper then finished into the empty net to put Colombia ahead, 1-0.

Now that Colombia have finally broken the seal, it is expected that they pour it on in the second half. They are the superior team, they're up a man and now they've finally broken through. That can only be a good thing for the neutrals, who were probably wondering why they tuned in for the beginning of the match that was so dull, but now they should be treated to some delightful Colombian attacking football.

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