Colombia open Copa America with dominant win over Argentina

Yerry Mina, Columbia (Photo by RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Yerry Mina, Columbia (Photo by RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images) /

Colombia gets off to a strong start in the Copa America as they make easy work of Argentina.

Roger Martinez scored a beauty of the goal in the second-half as Colombia beat Argentina 2-0 to open their Copa America journey. Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata delivered the final blow late in the game.

Colombia was the better team throughout the 90 minutes not allowing Argentina to get comfortable and pressing them high up the pitch to force mistakes. Their plan nearly worked early on as Argentin keeper, Franco Armani, played a risky pass to Nicolas Otamendi who miscontrolled it and almost led to an opening goal.

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They were also able to stifle Argentina on the attack cutting off any passes to Lionel Messi and surrounding him as soon as the ball got to him. They clogged the passing lane as well not allowing Messi an opportunity for a through ball. Colombia put no foot wrong defensively.

Offensively, James Rodriguez continues to be another player whenever he puts on his country’s shirt. He was involved all night trying to make things happen and tracking back to help out defensively. Roger Martinez, who only came in because of an injury to Luis Muriel in the first half, opened the score as Colombia got contributions from everyone.

As for Argentina, it was more of the same. Despite having the best player in the world in Lionel Messi, they look no better than what they showed in the 2018 World Cup. Apart from Messi, Giovani Lo Celso was the only other bright spot in that he tried to make things happen. There were new faces in the line-up but the old guard failed to deliver. Angel Di Maria got the start and was yanked off after the first 45 minutes, failing to provide much of anything to Argentina’s attack.

The substitutions by Lionel Scaloni again brought into question why Argentina don’t play their best players when needed. When the game was still in their grasp only down a goal, he opted for other players instead of bringing in the likes of Paulo Dybala or Lautaro Martinez.

This was the first time Colombia has beaten Argentina in quite a while and the players were aware of it after the game.

According to ESPN, Radamel Falcao said,

"“Argentin is always a very difficult opponent and they have the best player in the world. We had the challenge of beating them for the first time after a long time. We’re in a maturation process and we were close, and we knew this was a good opportunity.”"

Next. Real Madrid has the upper hand over Manchester United again. dark

Colombia face Qatar next as they look to take control of the group while Argentina will try to get back on track against Paraguay.