Colombia stunned Argentina in 2-0 in the Group B clash of Copa America 2019 in Salvador on Saturday. Goals from Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata saw their team register the first tournament victory over Lionel Messi’s Argentina in 20 years.
Messi said that his team was feeling “bitter” by the scoreline. Despite dominating the major parts of the second half and creating more chances, Argentina failed to produce a favourable result. “We leave here feeling bitter. In the second half we had our chances,” said Messi.
However, dominating possession and creating chances should not imply that Coloumbia were lucky. The attempts by Argentine players were bleak and were not threatening enough for the Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina. Other than one return header from Messi which missed the nest by a whisker and midfielder Leandro Paredes’s two long-range strikes, Ospina did not have any substantial problem standing under the bars.
The better side in the first half, Columbia failed to find the back of the nets. But, scored twice when the flow of the game was going against them, much to the credit of the coach as both the goals came from the substitutes. “I came on and helped my team. We did the best we could and we managed to turn the game around at the end of the second half. We played really well,” said Zapata, who this season helped Italians Atalanta qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz, who only took over Colombia after leaving his job with Iran at the end of the January-February Asian Cup, paid tribute to the side’s collective effort. “Colombia as a team was the best player on the pitch. We played with a lot of discipline, concentration, with responsibility, and players with the quality of James (Rodriguez) and (Radamel) Falcao helped us a lot in this organization,” said Queiroz.