CUIABA, Brazil, June 13 (Xinhua) -- A first-half goal from Boca Juniors midfielder Edwin Cardona gave Colombia a 1-0 win over Ecuador on the opening day of the Copa America on Sunday.
The 28-year-old started the move from a free-kick, playing a slick one-two with Juan Cuadrado before the latter sent a floating pass into the box. Miguel Borja used his chest to direct the ball back into the path of the on-rushing Cardona, who swept a first-time finish into the far corner, leaving goalkeeper Pedro Ortiz with no chance.
Ecuador looked the better team for much of the evening, controlling 59 percent of possession and completing 467 passes to Colombia's 345. But Gustavo Alfaro's men paid the price for not finding a cutting edge in attack.
Earlier, Brazil began their title defense with a 3-0 win over Venezuela in Brasilia, thanks to goals from Marquinhos, Neymar, and Gabriel Barbosa.
On Monday, Lionel Messi's Argentina will make their debut in the tournament with a clash against Chile at Rio de Janeiro's Olympic stadium.