Colombia Beat The U.S. With Some Of The Prettiest Goals You’ll See This International Break

Colombia won 4-2, with a couple of absolute golazos.

Michael Bradley returned to the U.S. national team one year and one day from the worst day in U.S. men’s soccer history. He returned just in time to guide his team to a 4-2 loss to Colombia on Thursday in Tampa, Florida, with the pro-Colombian crowd chanting “Olé!” with glee in the closing minutes after Colombia scored three goals in 23 minutes in the second half.

"We let ourselves down a bit in terms of the middle part of that second half," Bradley said after the match. 

Bradley started in his normal deep-lying midfield roll and had some decent spells. But the player who has received the brunt of the criticism for the USMNT’s failure to qualify for the World Cup after the loss to Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10, 2017, could do nothing to stop Colombia’s four goals, two of which were out of this world. 

Colombia started most of its regulars, with Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado all unleashed on the U.S., which was without a number of would-be starters like Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, all out injured. Also, the U.S. started Antonee Robinson who, just like as he did against Brazil, failed to cope with a South American side that repeatedly targeted him as a defensive weak point. 

The U.S. actually took a 2-1 lead at one point, but Colombia was too strong. It was a physical, hard-fought match with both squads going full tilt despite this just being a friendly.

Colombia ran rampant at times in the first half in Florida, perhaps buoyed by the large showing of fans wearing yellow cheering Colombia on. But it took a moment of brilliance from James Rodriguez to finally break down the U.S.

In the 36th minute, Rodriguez was given too much time on the edge of the box and curled in a world-class goal that couldn’t have been better placed.

You won't see many prettier goals than that. 

The U.S. came out on fire in the second half and found an equalizer five minutes in through midfielder Kellyn Acosta. The play began with Bradley spraying it out wide to Robinson, who sent in a tantalizing cross that fell to the late run of Acosta, who did well to steer the ball into the back of the net. 

Three minutes later it was 2-1 U.S. when some defensive efforts from Julian Green sparked a counter attack. Timothy Weah played a perfect ball in to Bobby Wood, who slotted his shot past David Ospina. 

It was a stunning turn-around for the U.S., but the Americans merely angered Colombia, which responded three minutes later through Villarreal striker Carlos Bacca. The Colombians’ equalizer came after Robinson was caught napping by Santiago Arias. 

Arias was played in by Juan Quintero, who had come on moments before and made an immediate impact. Quintero was actually subbed out later in the match, but while he was on the pitch Colombia outscored the U.S. 3-0. 

Colombia regained the lead with a devastating counterattack in the 74th minute. With John Brooks up the pitch following a set piece, Robinson was unable to slow the attack down as Quintero set up another goal, this time laying the ball into the path of Falcao, who showed his class with a first-time finish.

Miguel Borja then added one more golazo to finish off the night for Colombia, using an acrobatic scissor kick to convert a cross from James. 

Quintero nearly finished things off with a 30-yard blast that ricocheted the wrong way off the post. 

In the end, it was a disappointing showing for the USMNT. Aside from a strong 10-minute spell to start the second half, the U.S. was outclassed by Colombia. 

The U.S. will play Peru on Tuesday in Connecticut. Hopefully Antonee Robinson has a better day on Tuesday. 

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