Stadium: Arena Pantanal (Cuiaba)
Colombia have won only one of their last five competitive games. However, they have only lost two of their last 13 Copa America appearances. They are playing their 18th consecutive Copa America and their 23rd in general. Colombia have won ‘to nil’ in three of their previous four Copa America opening matches (L1)
Ecuador have not scored at all in their last four Copa opening games (D2, L2). Ecuador have lost their last two games but have four wins from six games. This is their 29th Copa America participation.
Head to Head
24 Colombia wins ; 14.draws ; 13. Ecuador wins; Colombia scored 58 goals against 47 by Ecuador ( in total 51 matches).
2001 Copa America winners and Colombia will look to kick off their title Copa campaign with a win when they play close neighbours Ecuador in their opening Group A-game.
Reinaldo Rueda’s side were supposed to host this year’s campaign alongside Argentina, but political unrest in their home country means that they relinquished their chance to Brazil.
But they remain very much in contention for the trophy despite this and will hope to repeat their 2001 triumph when they won the title as hosts.
However, two losses from their last five games—including a 6-1 drubbing against Monday opponents, Ecuador—means that they are not in their best shape heading into this game.
But with a good record in Copa America and a wealth of attacking talents means they will fancy their chances in this game and will look to set the pace early as they aim to progress to the next round.
Everton midfielder James Rodriguez and veteran striker Radamel Falcao did not make the final squad due to injury.
David Ospina; William Tesillo, Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina, John Medina; Jefferson Lerma, Gustavo Cuellar, Mateus Uribe; Luis Diaz, Juan Cuadrado, Duvan Zapata.
Despite making 28 Copa America appearances, Ecuador are surprisingly among the only two CONMEBOL teams yet to win the Copa America—alongside Venezuela.
Their record in Copa America isn’t so good as they have progressed beyond the group stage on just three occasions since 1975. Additionally, they have exited five of their previous eight Copa tournaments after failing to secure a single win.
However, with four wins from their last six games that saw them score 15 times, they have proven that they are no pushovers and can beat any team on their day.
Alexander Dominguez; Pervis Estupinan, Xavier Arreaga, Robert Arboleda, Angelo Preciado; Ayrton Preciado, Moises Caicedo, Christian Noboa, Angel Mena; Fidel Martinez; Enner Valencia.
Colombia : Draw : Ecuador :: 1.90 : 3.40 : 4.33
Colombia 2-2 Ecuador