Playing in front of 18,322 fans at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night, Colombia clearly outclassed Honduras and overwhelmed Los Catrachos goalkeeper and team captain Noel Valladares in their 2-0 dominating win.
Colombian forward Teofilo Gutierrez was his team's playmaker on Saturday night as he scored both goals in their shutout victory. From the beginning to the end of the match, Colombia attacked the net and had no reservation of slowing down.
Colombia had a 19-14 shot advantage, supplemented by the team's 8-3 shots on goal dominance against Honduras. In the first half, Valladares almost single-handedly prevented Colombia from scoring a goal as he made five of six successful saves.
Unfortunately for Valladares, his teammates were unable to match his intensity for much of the first half. As a result, Colombia was able to move the ball well and attack the net from all angles with reckless abandon and confidence.
Despite the fantastic saves from Valladares, Colombia refused to deviate from their plan of attack and was awarded a penalty kick when Teofilo Gutierrez was fouled in the penalty area in the 24th minute of the first half.
With the opportunity to give Colombia a 1-0 lead, Gutierrez's scored his first goal of the night in the 25th minute when he successfully converted his penalty kick and easily blasted the ball to the back of the net. Fortunately for Honduras, being down 1-0 finally woke the rest of team up as they picked up the tempo and made a strong effort to tie the match.
Honduras best attempt at tying the match was at the 36th minute when defender Maynor Figueroa penetrated the penalty area as he shake-and-baked Colombian defenders. With his opportunity to level the match, Figueroa's shot from 12 yards out missed its mark as it sailed over the crossbar.
In the second half, Honduras squandered another opportunity to tie the match when Jerry Bengston's header hit the post. Moments later, Hendry Thomas earned his second yellow card and automatic red card when he was called for his second reckless foul of the evening in the 51st minute.
Honduras didn't play a man down for very long because Colombia’s Adrian Ramos was given a red card for a reckless foul in the just 54th minute of the match.
Unable to produce a goal in the second half, Honduras fell behind 2-0 when Gutierrez produced his second of the match in the 72nd minute. In a sequence of plays, Colombia's Dayro Moreno accepted a cross from the left side of midfield and attempted to head a goal from inside the box.
Unfortunately for Moreno, his header was blocked by Valledares. Fortunately for Colombia, the rebound fell into the open space where Gutierrez was there as he blasted the ball into the vacant net.
With a 2-0 lead, Colombia had every intention of scoring as they took a couple of shots in their effort to produce another goal. With both teams unable to produce a goal for the duration of the second half, the match ended in a 2-0 Colombia victory.
Following the match, I had the opportunity to interact with some of the fans in attendance and they voiced their approval of the match. Both sides felt that Colombia was the better team and believed the reason Honduras lost was because of their inability to fire the ball towards the back of the net.
Two young fans, Harold and Eduardo, summed it best when they said that Colombia had executed their offense superbly while being able to make adjustments on defense whenever Honduras would attempt to attack the net.
Regardless of the outcome, Saturday night at Red Bull Arena was a spectacular evening for the fans as they cheered and appreciated seeing their national teams battle it out for their entertainment.
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for LatinoSports.com. He also writes for 5 Points Press & USSoccerPlayers.com ; your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at firstname.lastname@example.org and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.