Colombia held Peru to a scoreless draw through 90 regulation minutes Friday night at MetLife Stadium, before claiming a 4-2 victory in a penalty-kick shootout to advance to the Copa America Centenario semifinals.

A raucous crowd of more than 79,000 was on hand in East Rutherford to see Los Cafeteros eliminate La Blanquirroja, as goalkeeper David Ospina made a pair of crucial saves to lift his Colombian side to victory.

Currently third in FIFA's world rankings, Colombia had been expected by many to have featured in Thursday's quarterfinal opener in Seattle. But a surprise defeat to Costa Rica in their group-stage finale—coupled with the United States' win over Paraguay last Saturday—left them second in Group A and matched up with 20th-ranked Peru, who stunned Brazil to improbably (and controversially) win Group B.

Far from the prettiest soccer Copa America has seen this edition, Friday's tense, chippy affair still offered plenty of entertainment value, due in no small part to the fans. Supporters of both teams (Colombia partisans seemed to have an advantage in numbers) chanted, cheered, and flew their colors from hours of pregame tailgating, throughout the match, and back out onto the stadium lots, where they reveled long into the night.

Their spirit was undeterred by a somewhat disheveled first half that saw the two sides register 19 fouls, but not a a single shot on goal.

With Peru keeping numbers back and not shying away from rough defensive tactics, Colombia's formidable attacking trident of James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado, and Carlos Bacca were held largely in check. Rodriguez managed a good look in the 22nd minute, creating space off his dribble and unleashing a curling right-footed shot from the top of the penalty arc that caromed off the post. Bacca pounced on the rebound, but his one-timed attempt from a difficult angle hit the side netting.

Both teams maintained their aggressive physicality into the second stanza, and stepped up the quality of their attacking play. They displayed some crisp, fluid passing up and down the field, but were unable to find the final ball. As Colombia enjoyed the majority of possession, Bacca wasted a number of chances, and Peru couldn't break through on their counterattacks.

The game opened up late, and some dynamic, end-to-end action ensued as both teams were desperate to avoid the drama of a penalty-kick shootout.

In the 92nd minute, Peru's Christian Cueva delivered a corner kick to teammate Christian Ramos, who redirected it on frame with a powerful header. Ospina reacted instantaneously and was able to leap and get his fingertips on the ball to tip it just over the crossbar for a game-changing save.

As per Copa America rules, the match went straight to PKs after remaining tied at the end of regulation, with no extra-time periods. Colombia put the pressure on as their first three attempts were confidently converted by Rodriguez, Cuadrado, and Dayro Moreno. Peru's Raul Ruidiaz and Renato Tapia responded in kind, before Ospina came up huge again for his side. The Arsenal keeper dove the wrong way on Miguel Trauco's shot, but was able to adjust in midair to extend his right leg to make a stunning kick save.

After Sebastian Perez delivered for Colombia, Cueva needed to convert in order to keep Peru alive, but he nervously sent his right-footed attempt well over the bar, covering his face in dejection as Ospina was mobbed by his teammates in the ensuing celebration.

In the Copa America semifinals, Colombia will face the winner of tonight's Chile-Mexico clash. On the other side of the bracket, the U.S. await the victor of tonight's match between (heavily-favored) Argentina and Venezuela. The final will be held at MetLife Stadium next Sunday.