Frustrating draw for Colombia in rough Tunisia friendly

Posted on Mar 5 2014 - 4:55pm by Rico

The Colombian national team was held to a 1-1 draw against Tunisia Wednesday in a scrappy and at times not particularly friendly international friendly match that saw captain Luis Perea sent off with a red card.In a tentative game that saw a lack of clear chances, Colombia went ahead early on a James Rodriguez penalty in the 20th minute.

As a lobbed balled into the box reached Colombian striker Victor Ibarbo, he collided with Tunisian goalkeeper Farouk Mustapha, who had taken to the air in a move more akin to martial arts than soccer. Ibarbo was left writhing on the floor and eventually had to leave the game, but Mustapha received only a yellow card for the challenge.

After Rodriguez converted the ensuing penalty, the Tunisians responded but were not able to reach goal until the 35th minute, when a pair of errors by the usually steadfast Colombian keeper David Ospina gifted the other side a goal.

A poor clearance from the keeper fell straight to the opposition inside the Colombian half, and the resulting cross was poorly dealt with by Ospina, who came off his line in an ill-advised charge and failed to get anywhere close to the ball. Tunisian striker Wahbi Khazri pounced on the loose ball just inside the box and steered it into the goal.

The game remained scrappy throughout the second half and despite no more goals, good link-up play running primarily through Rodriguez showed the potential of Colombia’s attacking threat.

The frustration began to wear on the Colombians. In the 81st minute, captain Luis Perea received his second yellow card in 5 minutes, following a reckless tackle. A few minutes later, Rodriguez ballooned the ball into the stands after a throw-in decision went against him.

Ultimately, the match will be a disappointment for the Colombian side, which doesn’t have any other scheduled friendlies prior to its June 14th World Cup draw with Greece.

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