Colombia vs Panama: Preview and Prediction

Dark horses Colombia will hope to secure their semi-final spot in the 2024 Copa America when they face Panama on Saturday.

Colombia will face Panama in the quarter-finals of the 2024 Copa America at State Farm Stadium in Arizona on Saturday. The winner of this encounter will go on to face either Uruguay or Brazil in the semi-finals, setting the stage for an intense battle.

Colombia secured their place in the knockout rounds for the sixth consecutive Copa America tournament by finishing atop Group D with seven points from three matches. They began their campaign with convincing victories over Paraguay and Costa Rica, boasting an aggregate score of 5-1. Their final group match saw them draw 1-1 with Brazil. Despite conceding an early goal to a brilliant free-kick by Raphinha, Colombia managed to level the score through Daniel Munoz in a frantic first half.

Nestor Lorenzo’s impressive tenure as the Colombia manager continues, with his side remaining unbeaten under his guidance, achieving 17 wins and six draws in 23 matches since his appointment in July 2022. Ranked 12th in the world by FIFA, Colombia have reached the semi-finals in two of the last three Copa America tournaments.

Panama have made history by advancing to the knockout rounds of the Copa America for the first time. They finished second in Group C with six points, a significant improvement from their debut in 2016 when they failed to progress past the group stage. After a 3-1 loss to Uruguay in their opener, Panama bounced back with a 2-1 comeback victory over hosts USA and a 3-1 triumph over Bolivia.

In their match against Bolivia, Jose Fajardo opened the scoring, but Bolivia equalised with 20 minutes remaining. However, late goals from substitutes Eduardo Guerrero and Cesar Yanis secured Panama’s win and a spot in the quarter-finals.

Under the guidance of former Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen, Panama have seen a remarkable improvement, climbing 38 places in the FIFA World Rankings to 43rd since his appointment in 2020. The Hard Tackle delves into the potential elevens and tactics for this clash.

Team News & Tactics


Jhon Lucumi missed Colombia’s final two group-stage matches due to an injury he picked up on matchday one, and the defender remains a doubt for Saturday’s contest. Colombia will be without Jefferson Lerma, who is suspended for the game.

Colombia are expected to line up in a 4-3-3 formation that does justice to their strength in attack. Camilo Vargas should start in goal behind the back four of Daniel Munoz, Davinson Sanchez, Carlos Cuesta and Johan Mojica.

Mateus Uribe should replace the suspended Lerma, with Richard Ríos and Jhon Arias for support in the middle of the park. Luis Diaz will be the overwhelming attacking force on the left, with James Rodríguez on the other flank. Jhon Cordoba should start up front as the focal point in the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Vargas; Munoz, Sanchez, Cuesta, Mojica; Rios, Uribe, Arias; Rodriguez, Cordoba, Diaz

Colombia vs Panama: Preview and Prediction.


CONMEBOL has confirmed that Adalberto Carrasquilla will serve a two-match suspension following his straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Christian Pulisic during Panama’s win over the USA last week. Carrasquilla’s absence will be a significant blow to Panama’s midfield as they prepare to face Colombia.

The 5-4-1 formation appears to be the way forward for Panama, especially with Colombia’s potent attack. It will also allow them to double-team Luis Diaz, who is likely to be the Colombian side’s standout attacker.

Panama are expected to line up with Orlando Mosquera in goal, behind the back five of Michael Amir Murillo, Edgardo Farina, Jose Cordoba, Carlos Harvey, and Eric Davis. Murillo and Davis will get forward, helping tilt the formation to add thrust to the attack when needed. Cristian Martinez and Jovani Welch should form the central midfield, with Cesar Blackman and Edgar Barcenas supporting Jose Fajardo in attack.

Probable Lineup (5-4-1): Mosquera; Murillo, Farina, Cordoba, Harvey, Davies; Blackman, Martinez, Welch, Barcenas; Fajardo

Colombia vs Panama: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • Colombia have defeated Panama, with an aggregate score of 7-0 in their last two meetings, the latest being a 3-0 win in June 2019.
  • Panama head into this match with high spirits, having won 10 of their last 15 international matches.
  • A win on Saturday will see Panama defeat Colombia for the first time since July 2005.
  • Colombia have defeated Panama 10 times in 14 previous encounters, with the latter winning on four occasions.
  • Both sides are yet to draw a game over 90 minutes.

Player to Watch

Luis Diaz

Embed from Getty Images

The Liverpool star is Colombia’s most potent attacker and will once again strive to be his country’s hero on the night. Panama’s 5-4-1 formation will present the winger with some challenges as he will need to avoid being outnumbered in key areas.

However, Murillo’s habit of pushing forward could open the door for Diaz to run into space, especially when Colombia are on the counter. As long as the 27-year-old is kept quiet, Panama will retain hope of pushing their more illustrious opponents all the way.


Colombia 2-0 Panama

Colombia’s consistency and experience in the Copa America give them an edge, but Panama’s recent form and determination to make history cannot be underestimated. Given the knock-out nature of the clash, small margins can make the difference. The game is likely to be hard fought with Colombia coming out on top thanks to the match-winners on their roster.

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