Friday 05 August 2016, 00:55

Colombia, Sweden settle for hard-earned point

Colombia and Sweden opened Group B at the Men's Olympic Football Tournament with an entertaining, hard-earned 2-2 draw at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus.

The match started conservatively, with both sides getting a feel for each other. But it sprang into life after 17 minutes when Colombia captain Teofilo Gutierrez opened the scoring for Los Cafeteros, finished superbly with his first major chance.

Gutierrez's goal came from a pass from Miguel Borja who played him through. Gutierrez showed his clinical finishing ability, going one on one with Linde, shooting high and far to the right.

In the 27th minute Sweden captain Astrit Ajdarevic took a shot from outside the penalty area and Colombia goalkeeper Cristian Bonilla was unable to hold on to the strong shot. Mikael Ishak attempted to follow up the shot with a chance of his own, but Bonilla was up to the challenge and parried the shot out for corner kick. However, it wasn't the last he would see of Ishak.

Just as it appeared Colombia would go into the half with the lead, Sweden's Ishak scored from 25 yards out. He drove his shot with his right foot, and there was nothing Bonilla could do this time, unable to make the save in his upper right corner.

Sweden then used the momentum from their late first half goal and in the 62nd minute, they took the lead thanks to a close-range strike from Ajdarevic. Palermo midfielder Robin Quaison took a shot from 25 yards out, Bonilla then saved it into the path of a waiting Ajdarevic, who made no mistake and finished to give Sweden the lead.

Twelve minutes later, the game took a turn when a penalty was given after Joakim Nilsson was adjudged to have handled the ball illegally in the area after a cross. Dorian Pabon converted his penalty kick to equalise for Los Cafeteros.

Colombia almost took the lead again after Pabon swung in a dangerous cross that Sweden has trouble dealing with. They did just enough to clear substitute Harold Preciado's follow up effort. Both teams settled for a point in the end.

Sweden will now face Nigeria in the next round with Colombia taking on Japan in Manaus.