Football: Colombia down US hosts 2-0 in Copa America opener

James Rodriguez scoring Colombia's second goal from the penalty spot.
James Rodriguez scoring Colombia's second goal from the penalty spot.PHOTO: AFP

SANTA CLARA (REUTERS) - Colombia scored two first-half goals to tame hosts the United States and open the Copa America tournament with a convincing 2-0 victory in front of a big crowd on Friday.

The fourth-ranked Colombians did not take long to strike with Cristian Zapata delivering the first goal in the eighth minute.

James Rodriguez scored the second from a penalty in the 42nd minute and the two-goal cushion proved enough to give Colombia the early leg up in Group A, which also includes Costa Rica and Paraguay.

The United States, hosting the tournament for the first time and looking some consistency after a difficult 2015, showed fight late in the second half but were unable to finish what chances they created.