Substitutes Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata were the goalscoring heroes as Colombia opened their Copa America campaign with a 2-0 victory over Argentina, handing an early blow to Lionel Messi’s latest attempt to win a senior international honour.
It was a deserved victory for a Colombia team who were better all over the pitch, while several Argentina players delivered lacklustre displays.
Check out how everyone fared with our Argentina player ratings.
Armani 6. Had no chance with either goal and cannot be blamed for this loss. Nervy with the ball at his feet.
Saravia 4. Forced onto the back foot on the right and looked inadequate, with both Colombia goals coming down his side.
Pezzella 7. Made key blocks to deny Martinez and Falcao in the first half and added an air of authority to a shaky defence.
Otamendi 5. Nearly gifted a goal with a horrible touch and rarely looked comfortable, but did come close with a header.
Tagliafico 6. The Ajax defender had his hands full defensively and therefore offered few moments of danger coming forward.
Paredes 6. A battling presence in midfield, but added little with the ball other than a long-range shot narrowly wide.
Rodriguez 5. Chased back to make a goal-saving tackle on James but largely struggled to impose himself and was replaced.
Lo Celso 6. Made some surging runs down the right in the first half. Faded after the interval, but curled a late chance over.
Messi 6. After a quiet first half he briefly flickered, but missed Argentina’s best chance with an off-target header and faded again.
Aguero 6. Ran himself into the ground with a hard-working outing, but didn’t get a sight of goal before being surprisingly replaced.
Di Maria 3. Invisible in the opening half, doing little in defence or attack, and was promptly dragged off at the break.
De Paul 7. Half-time replacement for Di Maria and a major improvement, injecting plenty of thrust and drawing a decent stop from Ospina.
Pizarro 5. Entered the fray for the final 25 minutes. Could have done more to close down Martinez for the winner.
Suarez 5. Shock late addition to the forward line in place of Aguero but had little chance to justify that decision.
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Captain Lionel Messi immediately switched his focus to taking on Paraguay after Argentina were beaten 2-0 by Colombia in their opening game at the Copa America.
Argentina had previously come out on top in their past meetings with Colombia over the last 12 years, but were unable to extend that record in Salvador.
Neither side had a shot on target in the first-half, but Colombia always looked stronger and eventually got the goal they deserved in the 71st minute thanks to Roger Martinez.
Substitute Duvan Zapara duly doubled the lead from close range in the 86th minute.
Messi, however, believed there were upsides to take away for Argentina.
Quoted on Argentina’s official website, the captain said after the match: “We must take out the positive things of today, which I believe there are, and think about what follows.
“We have a lot of chances still. Now we raise our heads and move on.
“It will be hard for us to accept this defeat, but when we get to Belo Horizonte we should think about what follows. It would be a mistake to stay with this.
“Now we have to go step by step. The match against Paraguay will be key.”
Lionel Scaloni, who took charge after Argentina’s disappointing World Cup campaign last year, was more impressed by his side’s second-half display despite both of Colombia’s goals coming after the break.
“When we were better, we were scored against,” he told a post-match press conference.
“The second half was the best, we made two or three adjustments, the team went out to look for more, there was a change of attitude, we talked a lot, the second time was worthy of Argentina. Good team.
“The players know very well that this is long and that there are two games ahead, the most important thing is to stay with the good and correct the mistakes we had.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
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