Colombia started their Copa America campaign with a 1-0 victory over Ecuador on Sunday, with the goal of a beautifully choreographed free kick straight from the training ground.
Edwin Cardona scored with three minutes left when he started and finished a move involving skillful touches from two other players. The goal was initially ruled out for offside, but that decision was overturned after a review by the video assistant referee.
Ecuador had the best of the second half by far, but they couldn’t get the goal their pressure deserved and fell to the bottom of Group B alongside Venezuela, who lost 3-0 to hosts Brazil in the tournament opener earlier on Sunday. Ecuador had beaten Colombia 6-1 in a World Cup qualifier in November, but it was clear from the start that there was little chance of a similar number of goals as the opportunities clear were rare.
Neither team succeeded in creating a rhythm on a pitch that quickly cut off and the match was repeatedly stopped by the referee’s whistle for 33 fouls. The result marked a third straight defeat for Ecuador while Colombia have gone three games unbeaten since Reinaldo Rueda took over as coach.
The two teams will then face Venezuela, with Colombia playing them on June 17 in Goiania and Ecuador on June 20 in Rio de Janeiro.
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