Ballsy Win By Colombia
The scenario was set for one of the most consistent sides playing arguably the best team in the world. For Jorge Luis Pinto, it was a culminating moment that saw him laugh last as the 2007 year concludes for the Colombian national team.
El Campín began to show its predominance as a hostile environment. It was what the national team
The negative had to be the rugged play that led to three players being suspended for the following match. Aquivaldo Mosquera, José Amaya, and Wason Rentería who will be out against Ecuador as they earned their second booking.
For both sides it was business as usual as Argentina came out to a fast start, while Colombia started out slow. Juan Román Riquelme and Lionel Messi were neutralized by Colombia's two lines of four. But it was Carlos Tévez that was the playmaker in this type of game. It was obvious that Colombia could not mark everyone man-to-man, so that is part of the reason why he was able to generate play and set up Messi early on in the match. As brilliant as the Manchester United star was in the first 24 minutes; he was just as dense when he came up and fouled a Colombian defender while the play went on on the other side of the pitch. This sparked the rage in the Colombian fans, and forced Jorge Larrionda to show him red (no pun intended). At this point the match was choppy and fouling became predominant.
This is when genius emerges. Off a foul in the 37th minute, Riquelme takes a quick free kick and passes to Messi who did his usual Barcelona hijinx and put the ball past Agustín Julio. That goal broke an 873 minute scoreless streak for the Colombian goalkeeper. For fans at El Campín it seemed like history was repeating itself once again. In the 40th minute, the Albiceleste were an eyelash away from doubling the score when Riquelme once again crossed a ball in the box and Gabriel Milito could not make contact on the other end.
Ibarra would pile on to the pressure, even though they were a man down, but Julio would force his shot to go wide. The half would not come soon enough for the Colombians and the fans started to look at a precedent that reared its ugly head throughout decades of Colombian football. Never were they known as a team to come back from a negative deficit, but this is why this looks to be a new era.
The second half established the recent status quo for the homeside. Colombia busted out of the gates in the second 45 minutes, and this match was no exception. Mahler Tressor Moreno would beat Roberto Abbondanzieri but Wason Rentería would noe be able to poke the ball in. As Colombia took advantage of the extra man on the pitch, Argentina started to feel the effects of the altitude. They began to fall back further, Fernando Gago started have more pressure fall on him as defenders neutralize Riquelme and Messi up front. He was the man that was going to filter the balls out of that defensive area and into an attacking front, but was refused access to those players up front.
Colombia kept pushing up, but a warning bell rang loudly as Lio Messi once again grabbed the ball on the right wing off a countreattack. He dribbled into the box, broke inside, and came up inches away from the back post. The goal would have iced the game and left Argentina halfway to South Africa.
But those goals that are missed, are made in your end. Colombia would louder and louder until Ruben Darío Bustos came along and beat Abbondanzieri on the near post. For the hero against Venezuela, it was an opportunity to reestablish himself as one of the upcoming stars of the Cafetero side and made these qualifiers such a clinic on how to kick free kicks.
The goal ignited Colombia while Argentina lost their edge along with their breath. In the 82nd minute, Colombia would do the unthinkable and score once again as they would take advantage of an Hugo Ibarra error. His late move up, allowed Dayro Moreno to remain onside. He would put the ball perfectly for Wason Rentería who beat Abbondanzieri and Milito and would allow Moreno to push it in for the game winner.
For Argentina it was a big loss, but not the end as they will remain in the top spot if Paraguay fail to win in Santiago tomorrow. Colombia are now just one point behind the Albiceleste in second place. For them this scenario was beyond their wildest dreams. Any Colombian fan would have been happy with the five they presently had. Eight just puts them in a prime spot for their upcoming matches on the road that if successful, could leave them at the doorstep of South Africa. For Colombia it was the first win against Argentina in World Cup qualifying since 1993, their first overall since the 1999 Copa América. It was also their first win against the Albiceleste in Bogota. Alfio Basile is also 0-3 as Argentine boss against Colombia in qualifying play.
COL (2):Agustín Julio, Ruben Darío Bustos, Walter Moreno, Aquivaldo Mosquera, Estiven Velez; Carlos Alberto Sánchez, José Amaya, Jaime Castrillón , David Ferreira ; Malher Tresor Moreno , Wason Rentería
ARG (1):Roberto Abondanzieri, Hugo Ibarra, Martín Demichelis, Gabriel Milito, Javier Zanetti; Javier Mascherano, Esteban Cambiasso , Fernando Gago, Juan Román Riquelme, Lionel Messi, Carlos Tévez.
COL: Bustos (61'), Moreno (82')
ARG: Messi (36')
Bookings: ARG- COL- Mosquera*, Rentería*, Amaya*
Sent Off: ARG-Tévez*
*Suspended for next match
Photos courtesy of El Tiempo
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