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Written By Albert Echatah

In a crucial Copa America 2024 group stage match, Colombia’s attacking prowess comes to play against Costa Rica’s rigid defence. Both teams had mixed results in their group openers, Colombia can solidify their position as group winners while Costa Rica can pull off an upset against a high-ranked nation.


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Colombia

Colombia started their 2024 Copa America campaign on a winning note with a narrow 2-1 win over Paraguay. Los Cafeteros will be looking to build on that momentum and secure the maximum points against a rigid Costa Rican team. Colombia head into this matchup on the back of a 24-game unbeaten streak.

Coach Néstor Lorenzo is expected to deploy a 4-3-3 formation. Expect quick passing, fluid movement, and an emphasis on utilizing the pace of their wingers like Luis Diaz to exploit gaps in Costa Rica’s defense. James Rodriguez’s experience and creativity will be crucial in unlocking the Costa Rican backline.

Costa Rica

For Costa Rica, their opening match was an interesting one. They entered the game as underdogs against five-time world champions Brazil, Despite Brazil’s football elegance and dominance on the ball, the Seleção found it difficult to break down a rigid Costa Rican side led by Gustavo Alfaro, Costa Rica surprisingly held on to an all important 0-0 draw with the Seleção.

Look for a compact 5-3-2 formation under Gustavo Alfaro. Their focus will be on stifling Colombia’s attack through strong organization and defensive discipline. They’ll aim to frustrate the Colombian attackers and rely on pacy forwards like Ugalde and Zamora to exploit. Friday’s matchup with Colombia offers Los Ticos the opportunity to pull off another sensational result that will aid their quarterfinals ambition.

Head To Head

Colombia hold a major advantage, winning 4 of their 5 matchups with Los Ticos. Costa Rica have only managed 1 win against Colombia. There haven’t been any recorded draws between both teams.

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Key Performers

James Rodriguez’s ability to orchestrate attacks and Luis Diaz’s blistering pace down the flanks will be Colombia’s main weapons. Watch out for Jhon Arias’ creativity and versatility in attack as well.

Francisco Calvo’s leadership and experience at the back will be vital in marshalling the defense. Ariel Lassiter’s dribbling and passing will be vital in creating counterattacking opportunities for Ugalde to exploit.

Verdict

This match promises to be a blockbuster contest. Costa Rica’s defensive rigidity and tenacity will test Colombia’s attacking prowess. The outcome could depend on which coach executes his tactics more effectively.

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