David Ospina the hero as Colombia see off Peru in penalty shootout
Colombia reached the semifinals of the Copa America Centenario by beating Peru on penalties in New Jersey.
The two teams played out a low-key goalless draw at MetLife Stadium, Colombia with the better chances until stoppage time, when Peru defender Christian Ramos threatened a dramatic winner.
Colombia’s goalkeeper David Ospina, who plays for Arsenal in the Premier League, then saved from Miguel Trauco before Christian Cueva’s miss handed Colombia a 4-2 win in the shootout.
Carlos Bacca’s early run and shot drew a sharp save from Peru keeper Pedro Gallese while at the other end, Paulo Guerrero’s cross was headed over by Edison Flores.
The best chance yet came when Colombia captain James Rodriguez curled a shot with his weaker right foot from 20 yards against the base of a post, with Bacca putting the rebound wide from a tight angle.
The rest of the opening period passed in scrappy fashion and that pattern continued after the break as Colombia were given an early free kick which James curled straight at Gallese.
Bacca headed straight at the keeper while Peru forward Flores drilled a free kick straight into the wall.
Ramos made a crucial clearance to prevent Cuadrado’s cross reaching Bacca and Jeison Murillo headed James’ free kick well wide.
Ospina made a vital stoppage-time save from Ramos’ header, taking the game straight to penalties with Copa America rules specifying no extra time until the final.
He then saved Peru’s third penalty, from full-back Trauco, with his right foot before Cueva put the fourth over the bar to send Colombia through