Colombia threatens to rip apart Costa Rica
The first team to clinch a berth in the Copa America quarterfinals isn’t ready to wrap up group play just yet.
Colombia looked extremely impressive in back-to-back victories over the United States and Paraguay, but coach Jose Pekerman wants to see the same kind of energy tonight. Los Cafeteros will contest Costa Rica at 9 p.m. ET in Houston. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Colombia odds of -170 to take care of business at Reliant Stadium, while Roman Diaz’s squad enters as a +475 underdog.
Costa Rica essentially assumes the role of spoiler following Tuesday’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of the U.S. It’s fair to question whether the Ticos are capable of getting on the board in this match either, particularly considering goalkeeper David Ospina’s exemplary work for Colombia. Then there’s the little matter of containing James Rodriguez. Pekerman’s captain battled through a shoulder ailment to score a goal and set up another vs. Paraguay. He’s an absolutely electric midfielder, a venerable leader who elevates his game in the big moments.
Can the world’s third-ranked bunch conserve some energy for the knockout stage, though? Since Costa Rica comes into the tilt without one of its top contributors, Oscar Romero (yellow-card accumulation), Los Cafeteros may not even need that Grade A effort. For a full half, however, expect Rodriguez and his brethren to bring the pain.
SATURDAY COPA AMERICA FREE PICK: COLOMBIA/COSTA RICA UNDER 2.5 GOALS