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USA vs. Colombia, Olympics 2016 qualifying: Final score 1-2, Colombian's class dashes American Olympic hopes

Another four years of Olympic drought

Ian Walton/Getty Images

The United States Under-23 National Team entered Toyota Park on Tuesday night with a chance to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but unfortunately came up just short. A 2-1 loss to Colombia sealed their fate and will see the U.S. miss out on its second consecutive Olympic soccer tournament.

The match started off with a predictable intensity with so much on the line. The visitors created the first good chance of the match five minutes in, as an attack down the left flank resulted in a dangerous low shot in on the USA's goal, but Ethan Horvath's strong hands kept it safely out of the net.

In such a high pressure situation, the U.S. began understandably on the back foot as Colombia piled on pressure with shot after shot on the Yank's goal in the first 20 minutes.

Chance after chance fell the South American's way and finally 30 minutes in they finished one. A low shot from the top left of the box was dragged wide, but Roger Martinez was there at the back post to slide home a finish to give Colombia a huge goal and a lead on aggregate.

With the tides turned and the onus on the USA U-23's to score it was up to them to turn up the pressure and push for an equalizer. While they closed the first half with better possession and a few sniffs at goal, nothing resembling a chance fell their way as the teams went into the halftime break.

The second half began with much of the same as Colombia outclassed the U.S. and should've wrapped up the tie with another away goal in the 52nd minute, but blew a 3-on-1 chance. The match was a very chippy one with many questionable events that could've led to an American red card on a different night.

With the run of play firmly against them and all the odds stacked on their shoulders, the U.S. found an equalizer in almost devine fashion. A floated ball to the back post by Emerson Hyndman was met by the head of Colombian defender and floated over the goalkeeper's head to level the tie at two goal a piece.

The joy was short-lived however as another crucial away goal was put in by Colombia just a few minutes later by Martinez. His second of the night came from a misplay by Tim Parker who overplayed his man and got beat, the finish by Martinez was perfect and all by clinched an Olympic berth for the South Americans.

With the frustrations of missing out on another Olympics tournament on their minds, tempers finally boiled over to see Luis Gil sent off after being shown a questionable second yellow card. Another ejection for the U.S. in the 90th minute followed when Matt Miazga was shown a straight red for a last man challenge.

3 Quick Thoughts

  1. Colombia dominated for 180 minutes. The USA were lucky to even keep it that close.
  2. This whole cycle has been underwhelming for this group. They honestly didn't deserve to go to the Olympics.
  3. Jordan Morris didn't show up. Big time players show up when it matters and well...

This is the end of the Olympic cycle. Another generation lost? We shall see...