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Muñoz strike secures morale boosting win for Colombia

A goal from the Crystal Palace player was enough to secure a narrow win for the Cafeteros in the friendly game at the London Stadium.

La Selección Colombia y las cinco claves del triunfo ante España
La Selección Colombia y las cinco claves del triunfo ante EspañaHannah McKayREUTERS

A decent crowd at West Ham’s London Stadium with a higher proportion of Colombia supporters provided plenty of noise and colour as Nestor Lorenzo’s Cafeteros plan for the 2024 Copa America and Luis de la Fuente’s Spain rank among the favourites for next summer’s European Championships which will be staged in Germany.

The first half however lacked any sparkle and despite a raucous atmosphere in the stands, neither team carved open any clear-cut chances with the best chances falling Spain’s way with a header from Daniel Vivian and a long-range shot from Alex Grimaldo. In the first 45 minutes, Colombia barely had a glimpse of David Raya’s goal with Liverpool’s Luis Díaz the only source of danger for the South American side.

Things did pick up in the second half and James Rodriguez was a half-time substitute to the delight of the Colombia supporters with the 32-year-old picking up his 97th international cap.

James sale figura ante España en Londres.
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Colombia's James Rodriguez shootsHannah McKayREUTERS

It was the Sao Paolo player who delivered the through ball that led to the break in the deadlock as a beautifully weighted pass on the hour mark set the ever dangerous Diaz free and after some trickery on the left flank, the Liverpool winger found Daniel Muñoz and the Crystal Palace acrobatically rifled the ball into the roof of the Spain net.

As the clock ticked down, De la Fuente brought on FC Barcelona’s La Masia talents in the shape of defender Pau Cubarsí and Lamine Yamal but Colombia held firm to record a morale boosting win over ‘La Roja’.

Next up for Spain, is another high profile friendly as they take on Brazil in Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu as Colombia also play in the Spanish capital facing more European opposition in the shape of Romania at Atletico Madrid’s Estadio Metropolitano.