Mexico inflicted a crushing defeat upon host nation Colombia, sealing a 3-1 quarter-final victory in Bogota to book their place in the semi-finals.
An Erick Torres penalty gave El Tri a first-half lead, and although Duvan Zapata levelled the score in the second-half, substitute Edson Rivera bagged a brace to send Colombia crashing out at these finals.
Los Cafeteros began the night the more dangerous of the two sides, with goalscoring leader Luis Muriel threatening to add a fifth to his tournament tally. Before ten minutes, the No9 had his first crack on the Mexican goal, only to see it deflected. The Colombians were dominating proceedings throughout the first half, but the South Americans lacked a finishing touch.
Duvan Zapata, who earned the start ahead of Jose Valencia, nearly got to the end of a Michael Ortega cross from the left side, but in fine form, Mexican goalkeeper Jose Rodriguez, punched away the chance. And on 20 minutes the keeper denied Muriel a superb chance, when he tipped the forward’s long-range shot over the bar.
Muriel was back at it again five minutes later in the right side of the area, but from a tight angle could only muster a shot off target.
James Rodriguez’s dropped a fine free-kick effort directly onto the head of Luciano Ospina in the area, but the defender was unable to keep his header down and on target. Muriel then provided a neat back-heel pass into the path of left-back Hector Quinones, but the No5 hit his chance over the crossbar.
At the other end, Mexico silenced the crowd in Botoga, as they took the lead against the run of play. Diego Reyes, attempting to get on to the end of a free-kick, was bundled over in the area by Juan Cabezas. The referee pointed to the spot, and Torres coolly slotted home the ensuing spot-kick.
After the break, Mexico seemed keen on doubling their advantage. However, the host nation willed by their supporters in Bogota found the equaliser they desperately needed in the 60th minute. Proving his position in the starting XI, Zapata tried his luck from 30 yards, and to his satisfaction watched his shot creep right through the Mexican No1’s legs over the goalline.
But Mexico would have the final say. Just nine minutes later, the Colombians found themselves yet again a goal down as Ulises Davila’s pinpoint corner-kick found Rivera, who powered home with his head. Los Cafeteros searched for an answer, but both Ortega and Rodriguez had chances sail over the woodwork.
The result was put beyond doubt on 88 minutes, when on the counter, Rivera scored his second much to Mexico’s delight and to the host nation’s despair.