The Cafeteros have booked their place in the next phase of the Copa America, courtesy of yet another majestic performance by striker Radamel Falcao
Colombia have qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2011 Copa America after Hernan Gomez's men recorded an easy 2-0 victory over Bolivia in their last game of Group A. Star striker Radamel Falcao was the star of the show as his first half brace made the difference between the two teams in a fairly one-sided encounter.
The early minutes of the match offered little in excitement as both sides seemed reluctant to take an offensive approach. Most of the action commenced in the centre of the pitch and chances were few and far between.
Colombia, however, slowly began to dominate the proceeding and found the opener just before the quarter-hour mark. Dayro Moreno stole the ball in midfield and released Falcao with an inch-perfect through-ball. Facing only Carlos Arias, the Porto striker coolly slotted into the right corner to give his side the lead.
Needing three goals to progress, Bolivia started pumping bodies forward in search of the equaliser, but were leaving themselves susceptible on the counter. In the 26th minute Udinese left-back Pablo Armero broke free on the left wing, and after a blistering run was scythed down by Santos Amador in the box.
Falcao kept his nerve and converted from the spot, effectively putting qualification for the quarter-finals out of Bolivia's reach. Adrian Ramos missed a great chance to make it three just before half-time as he headed a cross by Armero over the bar from seven yards out.
The tempo dropped considerably in the second period as neither team seemed willing to put much effort to change the scoreline. Jhasmany Campos had a shot fly over the bar ten minutes after the restart, and Alcides Pena went close with a fine finish on the hour mark.
Bolivia had their best chance of the game in the 64th minute when Lorgio Alvarez was picked out with a cross just outside the box, but blasted his volley over. Camilo Zuniga tried his luck from range shortly after, but failed to find the target from 20 yards out.
Falcao had a great chance to complete his hat-trick with five minute remaining, but headed over from six yards out in what proved to be the final moment of interest in this game.
The victory confirmed Colombia's progression to the quarter-finals as Group A winners with seven points, four clear of second placed Costa Rica, who take on Argentina on Monday.