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BBC Sport's Tim Vickery
"No-one could begrudge the Colombian's their success, on or off the field"
 real 14k

Monday, 30 July, 2001, 00:42 GMT 01:42 UK
Colombia seize first Copa crown
Captain Cordoba holds the trophy
Colombia celebrate with the Copa America trophy
Colombia 1-0 Mexico

Hosts Colombia deservedly won their first Copa America title by beating Mexico in Bogota.

Their captain Ivan Cordoba scored the decisive goal early in the second half with a powerful header from a free kick.

It was a fairytale success for Colombia after the decision to go ahead with the tournament after it had initially been cancelled.

They did not concede a goal in the competition and, in a tournament tarnished by a rash of red cards, they won the fair play award as well.

Even the fact that Argentina, regarded by most observers as the strongest side in the region, elected not to take part and that most countries fielded weakened teams failed to dampen the celebrations in Bogota.

Ivan Cordoba
Cordoba heads home the winning goal
The undisciplined Mexicans finished with nine men after having Juan Rodriguez dismissed with 11 minutes remaining by Paraguayan referee Ubaldo Aquino, while Gerardo Torrado was also red-carded in the final seconds.

Coach Javier Aguirre was also ordered from the touch-line in the first half for repeatedly moving out of his technical area and the match finished amid furious protests from the Mexican team.

Mexico, playing a containment game in the absence of key players Alberto Garcia Aspe and Manuel Vidrio, stifled Colombia in the first-half but were outplayed after the interval.

Colombia's hopes were hit when the tournament's top scorer Victor Aristizabal went off injured after 25 minutes to be replaced by Jairo Castillo.

Aristizabal had the first chance of note when he struck the post after five minutes, while he had a penalty appeal turned down in the incident that led to his substitution.

Colombia deservedly broke the deadlock after 64 minutes when Inter Milan defender Ivan Cordoba rose to head home Ivan Lopez's free kick from the right.

Mexican hopes received a further blow after 79 minutes when substitute Rodriguez was sent off for a foul on Castillo.
Soldiers in Bogota before the match
The tournament proved a success despite security fears

Ramon Morales should have followed minutes later for a blatant elbow on Hernandez.

Mexico never looked like getting back on terms and as their frustration boiled over Torrado was sent off in the last act of the game.

And political violence and other problems that almost prompted the cancellation of the event were forgotten as millions of Colombians took to the streets to celebrate.

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See also:

30 Jul 01 |  Football
Colombia celebrate double triumph
29 Jul 01 |  Football
Clockwatch: Colombia 1-0 Mexico
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