For all intents and purposes, Chelsea loanee Juan Cuadrado's Copa América adventure has come to an end. Sure, he probably gets to play one more game, on Saturday, against the host nation USA, but nobody really cares about the third place match.
It was a bit of a strange and inconsistent tournament for both Cuadrado and Colombia in general. A 2-0 opening day win over a lackluster USA was more famous for James Rodriguez injuring himself on a dive than any actual football product from either side (and there certainly was none from the US). Colombia's next match was much better and they built a 2-0 lead against Paraguay before closing it out at 2-1. But after scoring four goals in their first two games, they'd go on to score just two in the next three and none in their two matches in the knockout rounds.
Cuadrado did collect two assists overall (as well as a converted penalty kick in the shootout against Peru in the quarterfinals), but on Wednesday, his biggest contribution was to head the ball down for Chile's Charles Aranguiz to sidefoot the ball into the net in the 7th minute. I don't know if "own-assist" is a term, but I'm calling it that.
Some more weak defending allowed Chile to double their lead with just 10 minutes on the clock and that was that. The rest of the match consisted of bad football on a bad pitch with bad refereeing and even worse weather. Half-time was two hours long while they waited for the storm to pass. Colombia spent most of the second half with 10 men, and actually improved, not that it really mattered. Cuadrado was spared the final whistle a few minutes early, getting subbed off for Carlos Bacca in the 80th. Fun fun fun.
Chile move on for a rematch of last year's Copa América final against an imperious and in-form Argentina on Sunday. This will also be a rematch of the group game at Levi's Stadium from a couple weeks ago (which Argentina won 2-1), but now with added Messi and both teams looking sharp enough to win this thing. It should be a good one.
With the tournament ending this week, we will hopefully get some clarity on Juan Cuadrado's future soon as well. Is he staying at Juventus? Is he coming to Chelsea? Time's a-ticking!