Colombia scores 2 first-half goals, beats US in Copa opener

By  | 

SANTA CLARA, California (AP) -- Cristian Zapata scored his first international goal, James Rodriguez added a 42nd-minute penalty kick, and Colombia beat the United States 2-0 Friday night in the opener of the Copa America.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke before this about the importance of a strong showing in the special edition 100th anniversary Copa to create buzz for a potential 2026 World Cup bid. Instead, the 31st-ranked Americans began the biggest tournament at home since the 1994 World Cup with a dud as FIFA President Gianni Infantino watched among the announced sellout crowd of 67,439.

Geoff Cameron lost his mark on the first goal, and DeAndre Yedlin left a raised arm that led to a hand ball call and Rodriguez's penalty kick.

The Americans will look to rebound on Tuesday against Costa Rica at Chicago, then close their group stage four days later against Paraguay at Philadelphia.