James Rodriguez Colombia Brad Guzan USA
James Rodriguez scores from the penalty spot past Brad Guzan to give Colombia a 2-0 lead in the first match of the Copa America CentenarioAFP

The USA would have loved to start the Copa America they are hosting off to a winning start, but, Jurgen Klinsmann's men ran into a physical Colombia team, who took advantage of their chances to seal the game in the first half.

Needing a win to bolster their confidence and get the doubts over Klinsmann and his ability to get the best out of his team off their backs, the Americans got off to the worst start possible at the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, as Christian Zapata, via a nice strike from 12 yards off a corner, scored in just the eighth minute of the game.

Just when it looked like they might, eventually, fashion a way back into the game, USA, who like coming back from a goal down, conceded a second one, as James Rodriguez, who would later go off with a shoulder problem, punished a DeAndre Yedlin handball to stroke home the penalty in the 41st minute.

That deficit was not exactly what the home team deserved, after a decent show, but up against a professional Colombia unit, who played the percentages well and knew exactly when to break USA's rhythm, while also, surprisingly, considering they are the away team, got a lot of the 50-50 calls going in their favour, a 2-0 scoreline is what the US had to overcome in the second half.

The USA, to their credit, poured forward in the second 45, with Clint Dempsey, particularly, coming close, forcing a wonderful save from Arsenal man David Ospina off a freekick. Alejandro Bedoya also had a decent chance to make it 2-1 and give Colombia a scare in the final minutes, but he skied his volley, when in space, horribly, while the Americans also saw a header cleared off the line.

Colombia, at the other end, would have known chances would come their way the more USMNT attacked, and so it proved to be as well, with Carlos Bacca getting the best of those opportunities. Through on goal after staying onside from a high US backline, Bacca did everything right, curling the ball past Brad Guzan, but that strike of his ended up being a shade too high, with the ball pinging off the crossbar and back.

However, with just 13 minutes of play left at that point, US still had a massive mountain to climb, and try as they might, the ball just would not ripple the net.

The USA next face Costa Rica in Group A on June 7, while Colombia play Paraguay on the same day.