Colombia sinks France 4-1

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Colombia's Luis Muriel celebrates celebrates after scoring during a U-20 World Cup group A soccer match against France in Bogota, Colombia, Saturday, July 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Luis Muriel scored twice to lead Colombia to a convincing 4-1 victory over France on Saturday in a Group A match in the Under-20 World Cup.

France went ahead on Gilles Sunu's goal in the 21st minute, but after that it was all Colombia. James Rodriguez equalized with a penalty in the 30th. Muriel scored in the 48th and 66th with Santiago Arias adding another in the 64th.

France was far less effective in the second half, probably feeling the effects of playing in Bogota where the altitude is 2,600 meters (8,600 feet).

Sunu gave France a 1-0 lead with a left-footed drive from 30 meters (yards) which slipped inside the post just out of the reach of keeper Cristian Bonilla.

Sunu's goal came after a furious opening 20 minutes in which Colombia hit the crossbar and had several clear chances before a 40,000 sellout in the Colombian capital.

Colombia was producing chances and finally broke through when Rodriguez equalized from the penalty spot after France's Kalidou Koulibaly cut down Arias in the area.

Muriel scored a sensational goal to give Colombia a 2-1 lead in the 48th. Michael Ortega threaded a perfect pass through to Muriel, who turned from his left to right to shake a couple of defenders, and then drilled a 15-meter (yard) shot past French keeper Jonathan Ligali.

Colombia broke the game open later in the half with a goals from Arias in the 64th and a second from Muriel in the 66th.

Colombia picked up three points and joins South Korea atop Group A. South Korea defeated Mali 2-0 earlier on Saturday.