Brasilia [Brazil], July 10 (ANI): In a game full of drama until the final moments, Colombia secured third place in the Copa America 2021 with a 3-2 win against Peru on Friday (local time) at Estadio Nacional de Brasilia Mane Garrincha.
Luis Diaz, Colombia's star man, scored twice for Reinaldo Rueda's side while captain Juan Cuadrado also found the net. Yoshimar Yotun and Gianluca Lapadula got the goals for Ricardo Gareca's team, who finished in fourth place.
In the first half, both sides struggled to create key openings. Colombia looked to assert themselves but Peru was able to find space on the counter. It took almost 30 minutes for the first big chance of the game. Christian Cueva set up dynamic striker Gianluca Lapadula who sent his effort wide of the far post as he ran through on goal.
A few minutes later winger Luis Diaz, one of the stars of the 2021 Copa America, forced a smart save from Pedro Gallese. In the 39th minute, Sergio Pena broke into the area at pace and tried to round Camilo Vargas but the Colombian stopper was able to just about deny him.
However, just before the break, Peru was able to open the scoring as Yoshimar Yotun broke the Colombian defence with a lofted finish following a slick Peruvian break to give Ricardo Gareca's team the lead at half-time.
Colombia came out after the break with renewed energy and it was soon reflected in the score. Juan Cuadrado equalized with a powerful freekick that went through the Peruvian wall. Colombia's rising superstar Luis Diaz then gave Colombia the lead with an excellent finish. Vargas found the flying winger with a superb long pass and once el guajiro got going, nobody could stop him.
With the time ticking down, it looked as though Colombia had done enough until Lapadula leaped high at the edge of the six-yard box to head Peru level.
It seemed as though both teams were heading for penalties but Luis Diaz had other ideas. He picked up the ball on the left, cut inside, and hit a powerful strike into the top corner. With that, Colombia secured their place on the podium at the 2021 Copa America to round out a good tournament while Peru had to settle for fourth place.
This was the first Colombia win in the Copa America on neutral soil and the third win for Colombia in all competitions against Peru (7 draws, 8 defeats). Luis Diaz's twin goals against Peru meant he ends his participation at the Copa America as Colombia's top scorer (4) and equals Messi's total in the tournament. (ANI)