TAMPA, Fla. — The U.S. Men’s National Team flipped the script on star-studded Colombia, erasing a deficit and coming from behind to take the lead in the second half.
Unfortunately for the Americans, Colombia did the exact same thing.
The U.S. was unable to hold onto a lead at a wet Raymond James Stadium on Thursday night, as an impressive comeback effort shortly after halftime was spoiled by an ensuing Colombian rally. The U.S. had made it 2-1 via a pair of goals that came three minutes apart early in the second half, but Colombia’s high-powered attack proved too much and pushed three goals past the hosts to prevail, 4-2.
Down 1-0 after James Rodriguez scored an exquisite goal before the break, the Americans responded with strikes from Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood. Acosta equalized in the 50th minute with a trailing run and impressive side-footed finish, and Wood punctuated a great counterattack, that included a perfectly-weighted though ball from Tim Weah, by slotting the ball home in the 53rd.
The joy for the U.S. fans in the record Tampa crowd of 38,631 was short-lived, however. Colombia’s potent attack, dangerous throughout the night, pulled level three minutes after the Americans took the lead.
On the play, Santiago Arias rounded U.S. left back Antonee Robinson on the flank and teed up a low ball to Carlos Bacca, who broke away from Matt Miazga’s marking and shot clinically past goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
Things went from bad to worse for the U.S., as the Colombians continued exploiting space against a defense that could not slow them down. Radamel Falcao found the winner in the 74th minute on a through ball from Juan Quintero, and substitute Miguel Borja put the game out of reach 11 minutes from time with a scissor kick golazo following a great lofted pass from Rodriguez.
The U.S. returns to the field on Tuesday, playing Peru in a friendly at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Connecticut.