Colombia upsets Messi’s argentina with 2-0 Copa America win

Bogota: Lionel Messi’s quest for an elusive first title with Argentina started off on the wrong foot as the Albiceleste was defeated by Colombia 2-0 in their first Copa America match on Saturday.
Colombia’s substitute Roger Martinez broke the deadlock between the two sides on the 71st minute at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador Bahia, in Brazil’s north-east.
Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata sealed the deal 15 minutes later, handing Colombia its first win over Argentina since 2007.
“The second half was good. We created a lot but unfortunately we couldn’t score when we had our best stretch. We are a developing team, we have to improve a lot,” Argentina’s Leandro Paredes said following the defeat.
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni agreed that the second half was”worthy of Argentina,” adding that the team faced a good opponent.
“The players know very well that this is a long (tournament) and we have two matches ahead of us. The most important thing is to hold onto the good and correct the mistakes we made,” Scaloni said.
A year after the Argentina’s World Cup disappointment in Russia, and a few weeks after an at-times frustrating season with Barcelona, Messi is expected to finally deliver a title to Argentina, especially as the tournament is being hosted by rivals Brazil.
“I think this group is ready for the challenge and we are going to try to pull this off,” Messi said after the match.
For the majority in the squad it is the first big tournament. Not for Messi, who made his World Cup debut in 2006 and claimed a gold medal with the Olympic team at the 2008 Games.
It is unclear though whether or not the Copa America will be the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s last international tournament. At the2022 World Cup in Qatar, Messi will celebrate his 35th birthday.
Argentina will next face Paraguay on Wednesday in Belo Horizonte.Asian champions Qatar, as tournament guests, are the final Group B opponents in Porto Alegre. DPA

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