Copa America 2019: Argentina 0-2 Colombia - 5 Talking Points
Argentina were beaten 2-0 by a counter-attacking Colombian side in the opening fixture of Group B at the Itaipava Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador, Brazil. Club America striker Roger Martinez opened the scoring for La Tricolor in the 71st minute with a splendid long ranger from the edge of the box.
The Liga MX striker was only on the pitch due to an injury-enforced substitution to Fiorentina striker Luis Muriel in the 14th minute. 24-year-old Martinez looked lively as soon as he came on and capped off a splendid performance on the left side of the Colombian attack with a fine solo goal.
The match failed to open up till Colombia scored the first goal in the 71st minute. Challenges came thick and fast in a bruising encounter, with the bulk of the match confined to midfield battles.
Colombian manager Carlos Queiroz refused to rest on the 1-0 lead, throwing in Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata in for Radamel Falcao in the 81st minute.
The Serie A striker grabbed the opportunity with both hands, running onto a superb cross from Jefferson Lerma to smash the ball past Argentine goalkeeper Armani in the 87th minute.
Colombia completed a fantastic display with two counter-attacking goals that caught Argentina completely by surprise.
#5 Angel Di Maria and Guido Rodriguez have terrible games
Lionel Scaloni's experimental starting lineup failed to click in the first half as the Albiceleste found it extremely hard to break down a well-drilled Colombia.
Club America defensive midfielder Guido Rodriguez did not look up to the pace in the first half, losing possession on several occasions. He was also indisciplined, receiving a yellow card in the 41st minute, prompting Scaloni to substitute him early in the second half.
This resulted in Argentina wasting a valuable substitution on a defensive player rather than bringing on an additional attacker, which Scaloni would have preferred. PSG winger Angel Di Maria also had a dismal outing, failing to register even a single shot and registering an abysmal pass success percentage of 70%.
He failed to link up effectively with Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero and had to be subbed off in the 47th minute, with Rodrigo de Paul replacing him.
Angel Di Maria