It's a new era for Colombian football. After failing to qualify for the past three World Cups, they finally made it back to the big stage in 2014. Nobody knew what to expect from that team but they came out of the gates in grand style as they breezed through the group stage. They made headlines on the pitch and off the pitch with their group celebrations after goals and became the fun loving team of the tournament. Led by James Rodriguez, the Colombians stormed through the Round of 16, beating Uruguay in the process. But then the Cinderella story ended in the quarterfinals as they were beaten 2-1 by host nation Brazil. The following year, in the Copa America, Colombia went through to the knockout rounds but fell at the same exact place where they exited in the World Cup. This time, it was against Argentina, who beat the Colombians in a penalty shootout. It seemed like Colombia would never be able to get over that barrier of the quarterfinal.
New territory for Colombia
But in the Copa America Centenario, things changed. Colombia advanced to the semifinals thanks to a penalty shootout against Peru. It was a relief for the Colombians who felt like they had the monkey finally off their back. Colombia didn't play at their best, but they did just enough to get by. Despite the poor performance, the semifinal between Chile and Colombia was expected to be a gigantic matchup of two of the top teams in the world. But in the end, it was not that close at all. Chile took advantage of Colombia's mistakes at the back and held them out for a 2-0 win.
Chile decided to expose the backline of Colombia, which was not at it's best throughout the entire Copa America tournament. Even in their opening win against the United States, Colombia had trouble at the back. David Ospina had to make some good saves and they were aided by some key misses by US players and the fact that they were already up 2-0 on a USA team that looked to be in awe of Colombia. There were also warning signs of this when Colombia lost their last group stage match to Costa Rica 3-1. Not only was it troubling to see the Colombians broken down three times for a goal but it was against a Costa Rica team that had nothing to play for.
Weakness at the back
The backline of Christian Zapata and Jesion Murillo looked shaky all tournament and they just couldn't deal with the pace of Chile's attack. The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas, and Jose Fuenzalida caused problems all night for Colombia and they were the reason why Chile struck so quickly in the opening 15 minutes. It wasn't going to be a problem against teams that had a lack of quality going forward, but against a team so overpowering on offense such as Chile, your problems will get exposed if not fixed.
After that, it was all damage control for Colombia and things got way worse in the second half. Without Carlos Bacca for much of the game, Colombia didn't have many attacking options going forward except for Rodriguez and winger Juan Cuadrado, who seemed too wasteful with the ball against La Roja.
Colombia is still a great team, there is no denying that. They are talented and right now are ranked Top 5 in the world. But they have major problems to fix heading into the next major tournament they play in. They have to fix the backline otherwise, teams could carve them up within minutes.