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Copa America: James Rodriguez shines for Colombia while Brazil drop points

The Colombian midfielder rolled back the years in the Copa America.

Colombia's James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez and Colombia kickstarted their Copa America campaign by beating Paraguay, while Brazil drew with Costa Rica in Group D.

Brazil have been on a poor run of form as of late and it continued against a resilient five-man Costa Rica defence.

They missed a string of chances and had a goal ruled out by VAR due to Marquinhos being offside.

Lucas Paqueta hit the woodwork in the second half and had two more good opportunities that he could not take.

Youngster Endrick was brought on late in the game, but struggled to make an impact.

In the other match, Rodriguez showed flashes of the 2014 World Cup heroics that put him on the map and earned him a move to Real Madrid as Colombia beat Paraguay.

He left the pitch to a standing ovation in front of 60,000 Colombian fans at Houston’s NRG Stadium and there is hope that his side can go deep in the tournament this summer.

Speaking after the game, he said: “I’m very happy, it’s important to start well today against a tough opponent like Paraguay

“We could have done better in the second half, but you correct things better when the team wins, it’s much easier that way.

“It’s beautiful, they [the fans] are supporting us a lot. We have a long way to go in this Copa América and we’re taking it one game at a time.”

Picture of Mitch Fretton

Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.