Radamel Falcao’s first international brace helped Colombia defeat Bolivia 2-0 and book their place in the Copa America quarter-finals.Hernan Dario Gomez’s side were in command throughout Sunday’s match at Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez, and the first-half double from Porto striker Falcao was just reward for their dominance in Sante Fe.
Colombia were ahead after 14 minutes, as Falcao demonstrated why new Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is reportedly keen to bring his former charge to Stamford Bridge.
First, the 25-year-old timed his run perfectly to elude the Bolivia centre-backs and then received a through ball from Club Tijuana forward Dayro Moreno, before dispatching a side-foot shot past opposing goalkeeper Carlos Arias.
Only 12 minutes later and the match was effectively over as a contest.
Indecision in Bolivia’s midfield allowed Pablo Armero to advance into the box, with the Udinese full-back then knocked the ball past defender Santos Amador.
Amador lunged and brought down Falcao, who dispatched the resulting penalty for 2-0.
Copa America champions in 2001, Colombia dictated terms during the rest of the match without pushing hard for a third goal.
Falcao shot wide after being played in by Hugo Rodallega and the Wigan Athletic striker – on as a substitute – later had a strike deflected.
Bolivia, meanwhile, struggled to muster so much as a single noteworthy attempt on target.
Midfielder Ronald Garcia saw a free kick dealt with by Colombia goalkeeper Luis Martinez, while Jhasmany Campos sent a half-chance over the bar in the second half.
Bolivia’s failure to threaten sees them eliminated with just one point from three matches played in Group A.
The 2-0 win means Colombia are the first side to book their place in the last eight, leaving Costa Rica and struggling hosts Argentina to scrap it out for second place in the final match of the group on Monday.