Colombia win Group A after beating Bolivia 2-0 in Santa Fe — putting pressure on Argentina to defeat Costa Rica tonight.
Falcao double seals Colombia's passage to Copa America quarter-finals
Colombia 2 // Bolivia 0
SANTA FE, ARGENTINA // Colombia defeated Bolivia 2-0 last night to become the first side to advance to the knock-out stages of the Copa America.
Radamel Falcao, the Porto star, scored in the 15th and 29th minutes for Colombia to secure top spot in Group A with 7 points. Bolivia finished with only 1 point and are eliminated with Argentina and Costa Rica deciding who will finish second tonight.
"It doesn't matter who scores the goals," Falcao said. "What we want is to build a team; build an identity and get stronger."
Colombia's easy victory also guarantee that Peru, Chile and Venezuela, who have 4 points after two matches, also advance to the quarter-finals stage.
Tournament favourites Argentina and Brazil — who play Ecuador on Wednesday — have only two points in two matches and will advance if they win their final group matches.
Falcao opened the scoring when he took a pass between two Bolivia defenders and broke through before slotting the ball behind the Bolivia keeper Carlos Arias.
Falcao made it 2-0 by converting a penalty after Pablo Armero was brought down in the area. Falcao stutter-stepped and then beat Arias, who dived left with the shot going into the right corner.
"When it comes down to one-on-one in a match, Falcao shows what he's made of," the Colombia coach Hernan Dario Gomez said.
In a low-scoring tournament, Falcao's two goals makes him the scoring leader. No team has scored more than two goals in any match.
Colombia and Chile have been the best teams in the early stages of the tournament. Colombia has been effective using speed and precision passing game, which they showed in the second half. They are also yet to concede a goal.
Falcao almost completed his hat-trick on the 61st minute, leaping high and just failing to connect with a long cross. He had another chance two minutes later, but shot just inches wide of the far post. He also headed over the crossbar in the 84th.
Bolivia probably had their best chance of the match in the 55th but Jhasmani Campos shot the ball over the crossbar from 12 metres.