Messi And Argentina Begin Copa América With Predictably Disastrous Defeat

When Lionel Messi declared that Argentina “are not candidates like other times” and that this is a side “going through a process of change,” he wasn’t messing around. The only surprising thing about Argentina’s opening Copa América defeated to Colombia on Saturday night is that Messi himself spurned a glorious opportunity to put La Albiceleste ahead in the 66th minute.

Colombia took full advantage of that miss with Roger Martinez hitting a stunning game-winner in the 71st before Duvan Zapata added the insurance goal in the 86th. 

With eight of the 12 competing nations advancing to the quarterfinals, there’s still a lot of Copa left to be played, but it’s impossible to imagine this Argentina side troubling the likes of Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile in the knockout rounds. 

Argentina exerted a bit of control in the first half, and there was a little bit of sparkle from Messi when the 31-year-old momentarily looked clear on goal following an impetuous nutmeg, but Colombia cleared the danger. 

As ever, a meeting between these rivals generated a bit of nastiness, including 30 fouls and seven yellow cards. One foul on Messi almost triggered a mass brawl.  

Shortly after, Messi couldn’t capitalize with a free header from close range. 

Five minutes after Messi’s miss, Martinez scored a brilliant effort to put Colombia ahead. 

The second from Zapata arrived with Argentina pushing numbers forward in search of an equalizer. 

Colombia plays the early match on Wednesday, June 19, against Qatar. Argentina plays Paraguay later in the day. Group B play finishes on Sunday, June 23, with Argentina playing Qatar and Colombia facing Paraguay. 

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