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Columbia top USA in Copa America 3rd place match

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The U.S. National Team put in a good effort, but were bested by Columbia 1-0 in the Copa America Centenario 3rd place match Saturday evening in Glendale Arizona.

The match was an entertaining back and forth affair, with both teams eager to forget about disappointing performances in the semifinals.

However, Columbia would beat an improved U.S. defense in the 31st minute. Juan Cuadrado cut the ball back for James Rodriguez, who chipped a delicate ball over the top to Santiago Arias, and his header found Carlos Bacca for an athletic tap-in.

The second 45 minutes was a similar story, as the USA and the Columbians exchanged chance after chance but neither side could manage to break through. 

The game hit its peak midway through the second half when Columbia and the U.S. hit the woodwork within minutes of each other. First Cuadrado beat Tim Howard with a clever chip on the top of the box, but to Howard's relief, the ball smacked off the underside of the crossbar, then Bobby Wood got inside the Columbia box and fired a rocket, only for his shot to bounce off the post.

Columbia and Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina also had a huge stop on a Clint Dempsey free kick in the 50th minute to preserve their slim lead.

Both Christian Pulisic and Darlington Nagbe were subbed in the match late, but Columbia held on to capture 3rd place.