Paraguay, the next U.S. opponent the Copa America, crushed Colombia, 5-0, in their opening Group C game on Thursday in Maracaibo.
Striker Roque Santa Cruz
scored a hat trick, and
substitute Salvador Cabanas
added two more in the last 10 minutes as Colombia collapsed.
Colombia had a chance to go ahead in the 28th minute when
it was awarded a penalty for a foul on David Ferreira
, but Alvaro Dominguez
's weak shot was saved by Paraguayan Justo Villar
Two minutes later, Santa Cruz broke clear down the left and timed his shot perfectly to beat goalkeeper Miguel
. Santa Cruz, who plays for Bayern Munich, needed only 22 seconds to add a second goal in the second half with an almost replica effort.
The veteran Colombian backline fell
apart. Santa Cruz beat Inter Milan defender Ivan Corboda
once again for his third goal of the game and then Cabanas, one of the Mexican league's best strikers
with Club America, added two late goals to complete the rout. GROUP C SUMMARIES: June 28 in
Maracaibo Paraguay 5 Colombia 0.
Goals: Santa Cruz 30, 46, 80, Cabanas 85, 88. Paraguay --
Villar, Veron, Caceres, da Silva, Bonet, Barreto, Riveros, Morel, Santana (Vera, 79), Santa Cruz (Lopez, 84), Cardozo (Cabanas, 70). Colombia --
Calero, Vallejo, Cordoba, Yepes, Arizala (Marin, 63), Dominguez (Torres, 56), Viafara,Vargas, Ferreira, Rodallega (Rey, 76), Perea. Referee:
Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay). Att.:
34.500. June 28 in Maracaibo
Argentina 4 USA 1.
Goals: Crespo 11, 64, Aimar 78, Tevez 75; Johnson pen. 9. Argentina --
Abbondanzieri, Zanetti, Ayala,
G.Milito, Heinze, Mascherano, Veron, Cambiasso (Aimar, 58), Riquelme, Messi (Tevez, 79), Crespo. USA --
Keller, Wynne, DeMerit, Conrad, Bornstein,
Feilhaber, Clark (Beckerman, 79), Olsen (Gaven, 62), Mapp, Twellman (Gomez, 69), Johnson. Referee:
Carlos Candia (Chile). Att.: