Copa America: Colombia relying on James Rodriguez as they seek to make life difficult for Costa Rica

Copa America: Colombia relying on James Rodriguez as they seek to make life difficult for Costa Rica

Eric Munene 16:40 - 28.06.2024

Colombia face Costa Rica looking for another three points with James Rodriguez set to play central role.

Colombia gear up to take on Costa Rica after an impressive start to the tournament. They defeated Paraguay 2-1 with James Rodriguez providing two assists.

Now, they aim to secure their place in a sixth consecutive quarter-final by aiming for a historic tenth consecutive win, a feat never achieved before in their football history.

Their next challenge comes against Costa Rica, a team they have dominated in recent encounters, winning eight out of their last nine meetings, including a decisive 2-0 victory in the 2004 Copa América quarter-final.

Colombian fans are hopeful their team can continue this winning streak, especially after manager Néstor Lorenzo voiced concerns about the playing surface following the Paraguay match.

Costa Rica, on the other hand, surprised many with a resilient 0-0 draw against Brazil, snapping a nine-game losing streak in their head-to-head history.

Despite having only 30 per cent possession and facing 19 shots, Costa Rica displayed character and determination, highlighting their potential under coach Gustavo Alfaro, with the youngest squad in the tournament.

A positive result against Colombia would mark a significant achievement for Costa Rica, ensuring they avoid defeat in their opening two Copa América matches for the first time since 2001.

Qualifying for the quarter-finals would be an even greater milestone, given their current FIFA world ranking outside the top 50.

Players that are likely to influence the game include Colombia's James Rodriguez, who despite not scoring against Paraguay, remains a potent threat after delivering two assist.

For Costa Rica, Orlando Galo, who scored twice in their recent 4-0 win over Saint Kitts and Nevis, will be crucial as they seek to upset Colombia.

With both teams eager to build on their initial successes, the match promises to be a thrilling encounter in Arizona, setting the stage for an exciting battle as Copa América 2024 unfolds