United States 2 Colombia 4: James nets stunner in six-goal thriller
James Rodriguez produced a moment of magic as Colombia withstood a United States comeback to win their entertaining international friendly 4-2.
James broke the deadlock with a stunning effort from the edge of the area in the 36th minute, only for USA to hit back and take the lead courtesy of two goals in three minutes via Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood to start the second half on Thursday.
Colombia, though, were not to be denied as Carlos Bacca, Radamel Falcao and Miguel Borja saw off the hosts at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Falcao unleashed a powerful volley inside the six-yard box but his effort fizzed wide of the post in a bright start by Colombia inside three minutes.
USA were living dangerously, though the hosts did manage to leave David Ospina scrambling when Julian Green curled a shot just wide.
Colombia's dominance was finally rewarded nine minutes prior to the break thanks to the brilliance of James, who collected the ball on the edge of the area, side-stepped his opponent and drifted onto his left foot before curling a ball into the far corner of the net.
Let's turn this around.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@ussoccer_mnt) October 12, 2018
Bayern Munich star James almost doubled the lead five minutes later but the ball was somehow scrambled off the line by the lunging Matthew Miazga.
USA managed to draw level five minutes into the second half – an unmarked Acosta volleying past a helpless Ospina from Antonee Robinson's teasing delivery.
That goal rattled Colombia and they were stunned again when Wood got in between two defenders and poked the ball into the back of the net.
USA's lead, however, was short-lived as Bacca equalised three minutes later to continue the breathtaking start to the second half.
And Colombia took the lead again with 16 minutes remaining – USA unable to deal with a long ball down the field as Falcao side-footed a shot beyond Zack Steffen before substitute Borja added some gloss to the scoreline.
What does it mean: USA's defensive frailties still a worry
USA showed they can compete at times with the best but the same problems remain in defence. In the first half, especially, the Americans were carved open at will by Colombia. While they managed to take the lead, USA's weaknesses were exposed one too many times defensively.
James stunner lights up Tampa
With 22 international goals to his name, James has scored some stunners but Thursday's effort was right up there among the best. Wanting to capitalise on Colombia's superiority in the first half, James took matters into his own hands. The 67-time international received the ball from the edge of the area and picked out the top corner.
Defensive lapses make life difficult for Colombia
Colombia were cruising in Florida, where the lead should have been greater at half-time. Their failure to put USA to the sword and two poor periods of defending opened the door for the home side. The way Acosta and Wood scored with ease so soon after half-time would have infuriated Arturo Reyes.
USA travel to Connecticut for Tuesday's friendly against Peru, while Colombia and Costa Rica do battle in New Jersey on the same day.