Nestor Lorenzo hailed Colombia's spirit after they survived Daniel Munoz's red card to beat Uruguay at the Copa America, saying overcoming Marcelo Bielsa made the victory more special.

Colombia will face Argentina in their third Copa America final (also 1975 and 2001) after Jefferson Lerma's first-half header downed Uruguay in Wednesday's semi-final.

Lorenzo's team clung on despite playing the second half with 10 men, with Munoz sent off for a second bookable offence on the stroke of half-time.

Bielsa blamed himself for Uruguay's defeat in his post-match press conference, but Lorenzo paid tribute to the former Leeds United boss when assessing Colombia's victory.

"I think that to beat Bielsa, you must walk many miles," Lorenzo told reporters.

"He is a referent coach and I really admire him as a person. It was our turn to win, that's all."

Uruguay had 73% of the possession after Colombia scored in the 39th minute, but Lorenzo's team managed seven shots to their opponents' six during that period.

Lorenzo opted against sacrificing an attacker after Munoz's sending-off, and he was delighted to see that decision pay off.

"One of the main topics we discuss is that we never want to be one man down. It is impossible to maintain performance with 10 players on the pitch," Lorenzo added.

"Teams that were dominating their opponents when they were one man down were eliminated from the tournament. We really analysed that situation.

"With the formation, we only had options of 5-4, 5-3-1 or to keep it 4-3-2 and create opportunities. We chose that one and God favoured us.

"Some of their opportunities didn't go in, but we also missed some and we made it.

"Daniel is feeling a bit sad. He's a lion on the pitch and once more he got a bit emotional. I hugged him and I told him that without him we wouldn't be where we are, so he has to hold his head up high."