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Champions! Three unforgettable moments for Colombia in the Copa América

These have been the best moments of Colombia in the Copa América .

James Rodríguez during the Copa América 2016

We tell you which have been the most memorable moments of the Colombian National Team in the different editions of the Copa América. Photo: YT-Gol Caracol

LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño

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Leer en español: ¡Sale campeón! Tres momentos inolvidables de Colombia en la Copa América

Today the Colombia national team is playing again in the Copa América. The cafeteros are characterized by their love of soccer and that is why, over the years, they haveexperienced several memorable moments in this competition . At LatinAmerican Post we want to remember some of them.

Champions!

Of course, it is impossible to talk about the Copa América without mentioning the time that Colombia was champion for the first (and only) time. In 2001, after a series of problems with the guerrillas and thanks to the insistence of the then president Andrés Pastrana, the Cup was held with Colombia. The games were played in various cities throughout the country, including Armenia, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Manizales, Medellín, and Pereira .

It was the second final in which Colombia participated. The players were not internationally recognized. On the contrary, the only one who played abroad was Iván Ramiro Cordoba , who at that time was part of Inter Milan and the captain of the national team. Of course, the names of some of the best soccer players in the history of Colombia were not lacking, such as Mario Alberto Yepes, Óscar Córdoba and Giovanni Hernández.

However , the most memorable moment of all was marked by Iván Ramiro Cordoba, on July 29, 2001, when Colombia played the final against Mexico. The Colombian captain headed a cross from Iván Lopéz in the 65th minute, jumping over the Mexican players despite his short stature (1.73m) to score the winning goal. It is a moment that millions of Colombians remember with joy.

Penalties against Peru in 2016

In a recent moment, this penalty shoot-out was key for Colombia to advance to the semifinals in the Centennial of the event. The Cafeteros had drawn 0-0 against Peru and everything would be defined in these last shots .

James Rodriguez scored the first. The Peruvian Ruidíaz would respond with a goal to the left. Juan Guillermo Square would follow the example of James, scoring to the right. Renato Tapia equalized the score for Peru. 2-2.

Also read: The 4 biggest controversies in the history of the Copa América

After a few stressful moments, Dairo Moreno would score 3-2 with a shot stuck to the ground in the center. This is when David Ospina, the goalkeeper of Colombia, would show his face, saving the penalty of the Peruvian Trauco with his right leg. The score was 3-2 for Colombia.

The young Sebastían Perez would leave the match 4-2 with a goal. Peruvian Christian Alberto Cueva would miss the last penalty for his country , allowing Colombia to advance to the semifinal in one of the most exciting moments for Colombian soccer fans. The team would fall in the semifinal against Chile, which would repeat the title by winning (again) to Argentina.

The first great championship

Colombia would reach the semifinals in the Copa América for the first time in 1975 , led by players such as Wilington Ortiz, Pedro Zape, Ernesto Díaz, José 'Boricua' Zárate, Miguel Escobar, Óscar Bolaño, Diego Umaña and Jairo Arboleda . It was the first time that the tournament adapted its current name, instead of being called "South American Championship"

This has been, until today, the second best performance of Colombia in this competition. The country finished the group stage undefeated against Paraguay and Ecuador and destroyed Uruguay in the semifinals 3-0. They would even win the first game of the finals 1-0 against Peru. However, the incas would end up winning the two remaining matches.