The U.S. men's national team settled for fourth place at a competition for a second straight summer, falling to Colombia 1-0 in the Copa America Centenario third-place match Saturday night.
Carlos Bacca scored in the 32nd minute for Colombia, who took the curtain-raiser against the USA 2-0 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California on June 3. Tim Howard returned to goal for the U.S. for his first appearance of the competition, and he was joined in the U.S. starting lineup by Michael Orozco and Matt Besler, who replaced the injured Fabian Johnson and John Brooks.
James Rodriguez tested Howard early on, forcing a diving save in the 12th minute with a rip from over 20 yards:
Bacca opened the scoring by finishing off a superb sequence. James chipped over the top to Santiago Arias, who headed it across toward the goal mouth. A sliding Bacca managed to get a touch on it despite being under pressure from DeAndre Yedlin to make it 1-0:
Alejandro Bedoya looked to have a decent opportunity immediately after the goal, with the ball squirting to him through traffic in the box, but he couldn't get a good look on frame:
The USA's best chance came in the 51st minute, but just like in the opener, David Ospina absolutely robbed Clint Dempsey on a well-taken free kick:
Both teams then hit the woodwork in succession. First, Juan Cuadrado deftly chipped Howard from the edge of the box and had him beaten, with the goalkeeper rooted to the ground, but his effort hit the crossbar.
Moments later, Bobby Wood shook off a physical challenge inside the Colombia box, recovered and hit the post with his chance.
The U.S. threatened in the latter stages of the match (during which both Orozco and Arias were sent off for an altercation) but couldn't slip one past Ospina, as Colombia earned its best finish in a Copa America since hosting it in 2001.
Argentina and Chile will battle in the Copa America final Sunday night at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.