James Rodriguez Shines in Colombia’s Copa America 2024 Victory Over Paraguay

James Rodriguez’s classic performance propels Colombia to a 2-1 triumph against Paraguay in Houston.

Colombia made a strong start to Group D at the NRG Stadium with this victory.

James Rodriguez Shines in Colombia’s Copa America 2024 Victory Over Paraguay
Colombia defeated Paraguay 2-1 in the 2024 Copa America, led by James Rodriguez. Photo Credit: AFP

With a throwback performance, James Rodriguez helped Colombia defeat Paraguay 2-1 in Houston on Monday to start their Copa America campaign.

Rodriguez set up both of his team’s goals in a well-earned Group D victory at the NRG Stadium. His club career has stagnated in the ten years since he burst into the scene at the 2014 World Cup. The opening goal for Colombia was set up in the 32nd minute by the 32-year-old midfielder, who has featured very little for Brazilian side Sao Paulo in the two months running up to the Copa America.

Finding space on the left flank, Rodriguez sent a precise cross to the far post, finding Daniel Munoz, who headed the ball downhill with a solid header to beat Paraguay goalkeeper Rodrigo Morinigo and make it 1-0. Ten minutes later, Colombia increased their lead, and Rodriguez’s reliable left boot was responsible once more.

This time, the goal came from the other side. Rodriguez swung in a dangerous free kick, which Crystal Palace midfielder Jefferson Lerma flicked in. As a result, Colombia led 2-0 at the break and were well-positioned to extend their winning run to 24 games.

In the second half, Colombia kept creating the better opportunities, but in the 69th minute, Julio Enciso of Brighton & Hove Albion pulled one back, setting up a nerve-wracking finale for Paraguay.

Also Read: Copa America 2024 Triumph – Chile and Peru Play Goalless Stalemate in Arlington

After Ramon Sosa crossed from the left, Enciso took advantage of some careless marking in the Colombian area to hook an angled first-time volley past Camilo Vargas into the bottom corner. After Paraguay’s score, Colombia took control of the game and appeared to be the more dangerous side.

When defender Yerry Mina appeared to be brought down by Gustavo Velazquez following another tease-filled cross from Rodriguez into the area in the 84th minute, the Colombians felt they had a penalty.

Referee Dario Herrera of Argentina indicated the spot, but a VAR review later reversed his decision. Colombia’s second group match of the competition is against Costa Rica on Friday, and on July 2, they play Brazil to end their first round campaign.

Later on Monday, Brazil will play the Costa Ricans in Inglewood, California, to begin their Copa America campaign.

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