CHARLOTTE, North Carolina: Colombia beat Uruguay 1-0 in their Copa America semi-final despite playing the second half with only 10 men to set up a title decider on Sunday against defending champions Argentina.

However the night descended into chaos as Uruguayan players confronting Colombian fans in the stands while security personnel struggled to restore order. South American governing body CONMEBOL said it was investigating the incident.

With the majority of the 70,000-plus crowd cheering on Colombia from the start, Jefferson Lerma scored the winner after Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez had missed three good opportunities to put his side ahead.

The Liverpool striker had a great chance in the box in the 17th minute but curled his effort inches wide before a scuffed shot and another curling strike failed to find the target as he sat on his haunches wondering how he had missed.

Uruguay were made to pay for those missed chances when Lerma rose above the defence at a corner and squeezed his header past goalkeeper Sergio Rochet as James Rodriguez claimed his sixth assist of the tournament – breaking Lionel Messi’s record of five assists in a single edition of the Copa America.

The game took a turn in first-half stoppage time when Colombia right back Daniel Munoz elbowed Manuel Ugarte in the chest when play was stopped and picked up a second booking.

With Uruguay dominating possession in the second half, manager Marcelo Bielsa threw on Luis Suarez in the 67th minute and the veteran striker nearly scored moments later, the 37-year-old’s shot hitting the post as he sank to his knees in frustration.

Colombia had a golden opportunity to seal the win in the 88th minute when they won the ball back in Uruguay’s box but Mateus Uribe shot wide. Uribe saw another shot deflect off the keeper and cannon off the crossbar in added time.

Despite those misses Colombia held on for victory, extending their unbeaten run to a national record 28 games and reaching their first final since 2001 when they won their only title.

Uruguay face Canada in the third-place playoff match on Saturday

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