Jose Pekerman got off to a dream start as Colombia boss after Los Cafeteros registered a 2-0 victory over Mexico in Miami Wednesday.
Mexico had the better of the opening phase at the Sunlife Center, with Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina diving on to Pablo Barrera’s chip to bravely deny Javier Hernandez after six minutes.
Colombia received another scare fifteen minutes later when Barrera floated a ball through the defense and past Ospina, only to see it come off the inside of the post and clawed away by the goalkeeper, as Jesus Zavala slid in.
Zavala and Jonathan dos Santos forged a formidable block in the Mexican midfield, with Zavala’s assured presence complimenting the passing play of Dos Santos.
But after thirty-two minutes Colombia created an opportunity, as a strong run from Radamel Falcao took him in to the Mexican area, only to be denied by Zavala’s inch-perfect tackle.
Falcao’s sniff on goal signaled an awakening for the Colombians, and a wave of attacks resulted in the deadlock being broken three minutes later, after Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa spilled Dorlan Pabon’s 25-yard drive, allowing Falcao to tap in from three yards.
The Colombians kept up the pressure and the impressive James Rodriguez stung Ochoa’s hands with a long range shot five minutes from the break.
The second half confirmed the game’s friendly status as Johnathan dos Santos was substituted early, while Hernandez, Rodriguez and Falcao all eventually left too.
In the absence of dos Santos, the Colombians affirmed themselves and thirteen minutes into the half Juan Cuadrado jinked past two players to find space on the edge of the area, only to drill the ball too close to Ochoa.
A minute later Rodriguez’s pitch perfect pass down the left wing released the overlapping Pablo Armero, allowing him to slide the ball between the Mexican goalkeeper and his defense and find Cuadrado awaiting to score at the far post.
The game then entered a phase of end-to-end activity as the Mexicans left defensive holes in their attempts to force themselves back in to the game, but nobody managed to turn a chance in to a goal.
D Ospina; P Armero, A Mosquera, L Perea, C Zuñiga; J Rodriguez, C Sanchez, A Ramirez, J Cuadrado; R Falcao, D Porlan.
Subs: 67′ A Aguilar [A Ramirez], 80′ G Moreno [J Rodriguez], 85′ E Soto [J Cuadrado], 88′ J Martinez [R Falcao].
G Ochoa; C Salcido, R Marquez, H Moreno, E Perez; J Guardado, J Zavala, J dos Santos, P Barrera; G dos Santos, J Hernandez.
Subs: 46′ J Torres [J dos Santos], 60′ M Sabah [G dos Santos], 66′ E Lugo [J Zavala], 72′ O Peralta [J Hernandez], 74′ D Alvarez [P Barrera], 81′ E Juarez [E Perez].