Lionel Messi and Argentina lost 2-0 to Colombia in the Group B opener at the 2019 Copa America being held in Brazil.
Finalists in the last two editions, Argentina were looking to put the disappointment of last year’s world cup behind them and mount a proper campaign at this year’s continental championship.
The start of the game was heated with tackles flying in and around and Colombia showing great intent.
The physical nature of the Colombian game made it difficult for Argentina as they (Messi in particular) were heckled and fouled with every move they tried to orchestrate.
This led to Argentina’s front three of Messi, Aguero and Di Maria, sharing just 2 passes between themselves in that half. The latter was having a torrid time as he simply struggled on that half.
The Colombians got the upper hand in first half possession, with no goal to show for both sides and no attempt on target.
The second half began with Argentina taking the initiative and chasing the much needed opener.
Messi came close from a header while Argentina thought they should have had an an indirect freekick in the box as Ospina handled what was thought by them to be a back pass instead of a clearance.
Colombia then broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute as James Rodriguez’s diagonal was collected well by Ricardo Martinez. Martinez still had a lot to do, cutting in and shooting past Franco Armani, in post for Argentina.
Duvan Zapata then got the goal that sealed the win for Colombia. To end any chance of Argentine revival.
It’s a tough start for the Abiceleste. They have it all to do now against Paraguay on Wednesday in their second group game.