MNT Falls to Colombia 4-2 in Spirited Kickoff Series Friendly in Tampa

Goals from Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood pulled the USA ahead early in the second-half, but a flury of second-half strikes saw Colombia take a 4-2 victory in front of a Tampa-record crowd of 38,631 in the MNT’s third Kickoff Series match at Raymond James Stadium Thursday night
Kellyn Acosta
Kellyn Acosta

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2018) — Goals from Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood pulled the USA ahead early in the second-half, but a flury of second-half strikes saw Colombia take a 4-2 victory in front of a Tampa-record crowd of 38,631 in the MNT’s third Kickoff Series match at Raymond James Stadium Thursday night.

A fantastic, curling effort from James Rodriguez in the 36th minute highlighted the first half. Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood struck early in the second to lead off a rain of second-half goals, but Colombia responded via Carlos Bacca, Radamel Falcao and a stunning bicycle kick from Miguel Angel Borja to earn the 4-2 victory.

With a wealth of attacking talent, Colombia controlled much of the possession and came close in the fourth minute as Santiago Arias’ cross picked out Falcao at the top of the area, but the Monaco striker fired his first-time volley over the bar.

Though the U.S. absorbed much pressure, the team showed positive moments in attack. In the ninth minute, Antonee Robinson did nifty work down the left to play himself around Arias before shifting a pass to Julian Green. Cutting inside, Green hit a right-footed effort that tested Colombia ‘keeper David Ospina but zipped past the left post.

As the clock ticked towards halftime, Colombia put the hammer down in the U.S. final third. Just seconds after John Brooks blocked another first-time hit from Falcao, James Rodriguez conjured some magic, scoring a golazo in the 36th minute. After some combination passing on the right, the Bayern Munich maestro collected from Arias at the top right corner of the penalty area before bending an effort inside the opposite corner.

Colombia poured more forward before the break, but saw goalkeeper Zack Steffen make a clinical diving stop on Falcao’s 39th-minute effort, before Miazga slid through to save Rodriguez’s 41-minute effort off the line.

The U.S. response came quickly after halftime, with Robinson’s looping ball from the left falling for Acosta whose late run set up a perfectly-timed finish at the back post in the 50th minute to begin the second-half scoring.

Feeding off that energy, the MNT took the lead three minutes later when Tim Weah broke down the left before slipping a sublime pass for Wood who cut through the Colombia back line to beat Ospina in the 53rd minute.

Colombia clawed back quickly though as a combination on the right led to Arias centering for Carlos Bacca, allowing the Villarreal striker a clean, one-time finish from the penalty spot in the 56th minute. After some even moments, Los Cafeteros restored their lead via Falcao in the 74th minute, before Borja’s overhead effort closed out the scoring.

Continuing to test itself against strong international sides, the MNT continues the Kickoff Series against 2018 FIFA World Cup participants Peru on Tuesday, Oct. 16 in East Hartford, Conn. (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMas, UDN). More than 20,000 tickets have already been sold for the match at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
COL – James Rodriguez (Santiago Arias), 36th minute: Juan Cuadrado began a well-worked combination on the right, leaving for Arias before he found Rodriguez in space at the top right corner of the penalty area. Rodriguez took advantage and curled an incredible left-footed effort inside the top right corner to give Colombia the lead going into halftime. USA 0, COL 1 [WATCH]

USA – Kellyn Acosta, 50th minute: The U.S. responded early in the second frame, as Antonee Robinson looped a cross in from the left that deflected ever so slightly off of Davinson Sanchez and fell perfectly for Kellyn Acosta, whose smart run from midfield put him in place to volley home a one-time finish at the back post. USA 1, COL 1 [WATCH]

USA – Bobby Wood (Tim Weah), 53rd minute: Feeding off the equalizer, the U.S. pulled ahead three minutes later. Julian Green sprung Tim Weah up the left side, where the 18-year-old pushed forward before picking out Bobby Wood’s run through the middle with a perfectly weighted pass. The striker did well to burst through the Colombia back line before sending a low finish past Ospina and inside the right post. USA 2, COL 1 [WATCH]

COL – Carlos Bacca (Santiago Arias), 56th minute: Galvanized by going down, Colombia pulled level after just three minutes. Following a throw-in, Santiago Arias broke down the right and centered for Bacca whose first-time hit from the penalty spot beat U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen inside the left post. USA 2, COL 2 [WATCH]

COL – Radameel Falcao (Juan Fernando Quintero), 74th minute: Colombia re-took the lead with a well-worked counter attack. Rodriguez looped the ball forward for Bacca who held up play before sending a nifty back heel into Quintero’s path. Quintero then picked out Falcao, who bent his finish inside the lower right post. USA 2, COL 3 [WATCH]

COL – Miguel Angel Borja (James Rodriguez), 79th minute: Los Cafeteros increased the advantage five minutes later. Arias ran free down the right side, playing for Rodriguez who held up in the area before crossing to Borja whose bicycle kick on the left sneaked past the diving Steffen and in off the post. USA 2, COL 4 [WATCH] FINAL.

Key Save and Defensive Plays:
USA – Zack Steffen and Matt Miazga, 39th minute: Arias broke down the right and sent a low cross to Falcao at the top of the area. The Colombia captain took the ball on the bounce, firing a half-volley which saw Steffen make a clinical diving stop to his right before Miazga was there to nod the ball out for a corner.

USA – Zack Steffen and Matt Miazga, 41st minute: Cuadrado broke through the U.S. midfield and threaded a pass to Rodriguez on the right. The Bayern Munich attacker cut back to his left to beat Robinson, then hit a low effort that Steffen got a touch to before Miazga’s anticipatory slide cleared the ball off the line and out for another corner kick.

Additional Notes:

  • The MNT falls to 3-13-4 all-time against Colombia and moves to 3-3-2 in 2018.
  • Bobby Wood recorded his 13th international goal and team-leading third of the year in the 53rd minute.
  • Kellyn Acosta’s 50th minute strike was his second international goal and first since the MNT’s 2-1 win against Ghana on July 1, 2017.
  • Tim Weah recorded his first assist at senior international level on Wood’s goal.
  • The Starting XI comprised an average of 24 years, 113 days and 29.6 caps
  • In his first appearance of 2018, captain Michael Bradley earned his 141st cap, tying him with Clint Dempsey for third on the MNT’s all-time list. He sits behind only Cobi Jones (164) and Landon Donovan (157).
  • With the start, Zack Steffen earned his sixth cap, tying the modern era record jointly held by Kasey Keller (1990) and Troy Perkins (2009) for most appearances by a goalkeeper during their debut year with the National Team.
  • A native of Palm Harbor, Fla., Ben Sweat earned his first MNT cap not far from his hometown, becoming the 16th player to earn their debut in 2018 and 19th player to do so since November 2017. 
  • Kenny Saief returned to the MNT lineup for the first time since the 1-0 win against Paraguay on March 27 in Cary, N.C.
  • For the second time, Sarachan deployed a back four of DeAndre Yedlin, Matt Miazga, John Brooks and Antonee Robinson. Brooks and Miazga paired in central defense for the third time.  
  • Dave Sarachan has handed out 19 MNT debuts since last November and 16 in 2018. Substitute defenders Reggie Cannon and Ben Sweat will hope to add to those totals tonight.
  • With the MNT dressing 20 players, goalkeeper Ethan Horvath, defender Aaron Long and midfielder Jonathan Amon were healthy scratches from tonight’s match.

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Colombia
Date: October 11, 2018
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
Attendance: 38,631
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 80 degrees; partly cloudy

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F                                                         
USA                             0          2          2
COL                             1          3          4

COL – James Rodriguez (Santiago Arias)                 36th minute
USA – Kellyn Acosta                                                  50
USA – Bobby Wood (Tim Weah)                               53
COL – Carlos Bacca (Santiago Arias)                        56
COL – Radamel Falcao (Juan Fernando Quintero)   74
COL – Miguel Angel Borja (James Rodriguez)          79

USA: 12-Zack Steffen; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 3-Matt Miazga, 6-John Brooks, 17-Antonee Robinson (19-Ben Sweat, 75); 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 23-Kellyn Acosta; 11-Tim Weah (8-Marky Delgado, 68), 16-Julian Green (13-Josh Sargent, 80), 10-Kenny Saief (14-Fafa Picault, 58); 7-Bobby Wood (9-Andrija Novakovich, 80)
Substitutes not used: 1-Brad Guzan, 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 18-Reggie Cannon, 20-Wil Trapp
Head coach: Dave Sarachan

COL: 1-David Ospina; 4-Santiago Arias, 23-Davinson Sanchez, 22-Jeison Murillo, 21-Deiver Machado; 15-Mateus Uribe, 5-Wilmar Barrios (18-Juan Daniel Roa, 89), 11-Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (20-Juan Fernando Quintero, 55, 17-Yimmi Chara, 83), 10-James Rodriguez (6-Didier Moreno, 82); 9-Radamel Falcao (capt.) (8-Edwin Cardona, 76), 7-Carlos Bacca (19-Miguel Angel Borja, 76)
Substitutes not used: 12-Alvaro Montero, 13-Helibelton Palacios, 16-Cristian Alexis Borja, 3-Oscar Murillo, 2-Felipe Aguilar, 24-Sebastian Villa
Head coach: Arturo Reyes

Stats Summary: USA / COL
Shots: 5 / 17
Shots on Goal: 2 / 7
Saves: 2 / 0
Corner Kicks: 3 / 6
Fouls: 9 / 13
Offside: 1 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Tim Weah (caution)                             32nd minute
USA – Antonee Robinson (caution)               35
COL – Wilmar Barrios (caution)                     63

Referee: John Pitti (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Victoria (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Ramirez (HON)
4th Official: Hector Said Martinez (HON) Man of the Match: Bobby Wood