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Written by Olaleye Oluwadamilola

After holding South American giants Brazil to a 1-1 draw in their final group stage match, Colombia secured top spot in Group D with an impressive seven points. Meanwhile, Panama battled their way to a second-place finish in Group C, three points behind group winners Uruguay. They closed out the group stage with a convincing 3-1 victory over Bolivia. This sets the stage for a thrilling clash between a confident Colombia and a determined Panamanian squad.

Colombia Soaring High Under Nestor Lorenzo

Colombia, on a remarkable hot streak, continue to impress under manager Nestor Lorenzo. Their Copa America campaign kicked off strong with a 2-1 win over Paraguay on June 24th, setting a positive tone.

Securing top spot in Group D with a 1-1 draw against South American giants Brazil (seven points from three games), the former Argentina coach has his team positioned as a surprise contender this summer.

Rounding off their pre-tournament preparations with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Bolivia, Colombia boasts an undefeated record stretching a staggering 26 games across all competitions, dating back to February 2022. With this incredible run of form, Lorenzo’s men will be brimming with confidence heading into the knockout stages.

Panama: Underdogs Aiming to Upset the Odds

While Panama may have entered Copa America as underdogs, Thomas Christiansen’s squad have defied expectations. They punched their ticket to the quarterfinals for the first time ever, including a historic 2-1 win over the USA on June 27th.

Panama finished Group C with a strong showing, collecting six points from their three matches and capping it off with a 3-1 victory against Bolivia. Their coach, the former Leeds boss, Christiansen, will undoubtedly relish the challenge of facing a powerhouse like Colombia.

However, Panama can’t ignore the ghosts of their past. Their last encounter with Colombia, back in June 2019, resulted in a humiliating 3-0 defeat. Facing Colombia at the State Farm Stadium will be a daunting task, but Panama are clearly motivated to cause an upset.


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Head to Head

Colombia and Panama have a bit of history in official games, having faced off six times previously, but this Copa America matchup will be their first encounter in the prestigious tournament. While Colombia holds the upper hand historically with four wins to Panama’s two, it’s worth noting that Panama’s last victory against Colombia came in the 2005 Gold Cup semifinal.

Key Performers

Colombia will be relying on their established leaders James Rodriguez and Luis Diaz, along with the in-form Daniel Muñoz. Muñoz has been a key contributor with two crucial goals in the competition so far. His first goal secured the win against Paraguay, and his second against Brazil earned them a valuable draw.

Panama have seen some key contributions from several players in their Copa America run. Jose Fajardo has been their leading scorer with two goals across their three matches so far, but hasn’t registered any assists. Cesar Yanis has also chipped in offensively, scoring a crucial goal that currently ranks him 10th in the entire Copa America competition. Meanwhile, both Freddy Gondola and Abdiel Ayarza have provided valuable support on the attacking front, each contributing one assist and currently sitting at third place in the assist leaderboard for the 2024 Copa America.

Verdict

Colombia holds a historical edge over Panama. In their past meetings, Los Cafeteros have emerged victorious in five out of seven encounters. Interestingly, six of these seven matches were high-scoring affairs, with both teams finding the net at least three times. This suggests a potential for an exciting, goal-filled encounter in the upcoming quarter-final.

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