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WC Qualification South America
16 November 2011
• Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla
Referee: Salvio Spinola Fagundes Filho
• Attendance: 49600
D. Pabón 45'
L. Messi 61'
S. Agüero 83'
Shots on Target
That's it from Colombia as the home team fall to Argentina 2-1. A goal from Pabon is negated by strikes from Messi and Aguero is Sabella celebrates as if his team just won a major throphy. Thanks for joining Goal.com for our LIVE coverage of World Cup qualifying. Be sure to stick with us for the match report and player ratings. I'm Roger Gonzalez, and it's been a pleasure.
90' + 4'
That's it! Game over! Argentina win 2-1 with a late goal from Aguero!
90' + 3'
Just moments left as Sabella calls for the end of the game.
90' + 2'
Aguero is hit in the head with an object as he prepared to take the corner.
90' + 1'
Messi goes on his own instead of playing Aguero on the right, but Ospina does well to save the initial shot before the attacker looked to put the ball away from a narrow angle, but it is cleared off the line!
Argentina on the counter here!
A wild celebration by the Argentina bench after the goal as Sabella can breathe a bit more.
There will be four added minutes in the contest as Colombia look for the equaliser.
Yellow Card Sergio Agüero
Goal Sergio Agüero
GOAL AGUERO! GOAL ARGENTINA! On the counter after Clemente stole the ball from Colombia, Messi played Higuain into the left side of the box, and the Real Madrid man cut to his right before firing a shot that was stopped well by Ospina, but Aguero put the rebound in at the far post from metres out! Now the prettiest goal, but it does not matter. Argentina are up 2-1!
Gago is coming on for Brana who is gassed.
Around 10 minutes remaining after Zuniga misses the clearest chance of them all.
ZUNIGA!!! OH NO! The Napoli man cuts by Clemente in the box, before beating Fernandez, firing right into the chest of Romero from only metres out! The entire left side of the net was open! Unbelievable!
Higuain looks to send Aguero diagonally into the box, but the ball hits the Man City star's heel, falling to Colombia. It's been that kind of night for the two-time World Cup winners.
After doing nothing off the free kick, Sosa looks to play the ball to Higuain into the box, but the home defence stands strong, clearing the ball down the field.
Moreno drags down Messi as the little man is getting bombarded with hits, including a knee to the head.
Aguero is taken down in the box as the Argentina bench want the penalty. The ref does not award it. Moments after, Moreno fires on goal from deep, but Romero saves well. What a tense end to the match that awaits us.
Argentina win a corner off a Sosa cross, but again, Argentina fan to capitalise as Colombia go on the counter.
Messi is fouled by Boliviar from 28 metres out before Aguilar drills the ball into the head of the Barca man. What a violent hit as Argentina wanted a red card. On the set piece, the visitors do nothing as a cross into the box is cleared.
Aguero tries his luck from deep, but his right-footed shot fails to trouble Ospina.
Nice combo from Aguero and Messi sees the Barca man with a cross from the left, but Colombia clear the danger.
Pabon comes off for Moreno.
Goal Lionel Messi
GOAL MESSI! GOAL ARGENTINA! The Barca man, at the top of the box, plays the ball down the left wing to Sosa, who sends in a low cross that Ospina and Yepes both fail to eliminate at the front post as Messi puts it home from close. That was perhaps the easiest goal he has ever scored.
Dayro Moreno is about to come on for Colombia as Messi loses the ball in attack.
Argentina are advancing down the field, but they just can't produce a good look on goal as Mascherano's ball finds Ospina, just before Messi's pass does the same.
guero plays Messi at the top of the box, but the Barcelona star again fails to produce a goal, taking one too many touches before firing a ball that was deflected before finding Ospina.
abon tries to double up Argentina with a curious strike from over 30 metres out, but the ball nearly flies into the stands.
Aguero!!! Oh what a poor strike. After Sosa nearly sent Higuain through, the former Atletico Madrid star tried his luck with left-footed shot, but Ospina was not frightened as the ball slowly rolled to him.
Aguero plays Higuain forward into the box, but the Real Madrid man is denied. The Man City striker tries his luck on a loose ball, but he too is denied.
Yellow Card Rodrigo Braña
Yellow card for Brana after dropping Rodriguez.
Here we go!
Argentina's qualifying hopes are 45 minutes away from taking another hit as the pressure mounts on Sabella. Can they turn it around in the second half or will Colombia make matters worse? The second half is moments away.
45' + 2'
That's the end of the half! 1-0 Colombia.
Goal D. Pabón
Two added minutes.
GOAL COLOMBIA! 1-0! Off the free kick, Pabon drills the ball off of Mascherano in the middle of the box, beating Romero, who had no chance.
Colombia go on the attack. Zabaleta commits a foul right at the top of the box and could have been a penalty as Rodriguez is clipped. Wonderful chance coming here!
What a chance for Colombia! Pabon places a lovely ball from the corner of the box right across the face of the goal but Ramos couldn't connect!
Change of plans as the former Estudiantes manager elects Leandro Desabato to replace Burdisso.
Yellow Card Nicolas Burdisso
Numerous players are warming up on the side, but it looks like Sabella may opt for Fernando Gago with Mascherano filling in for Burdisso.
Yellow Card Pablo Armero
Oh no. A nightmare for Argentina? Burdisso is holding his knee. Does that mean Demichelis comes in? The Roma man injured himself after trying to tackle Rodriguez. He is now being carried off the field.
Messi to Higuain! The Barca man tries to find the Real Madrid striker, but an offside call on Higuain negates the attack. Nearly a good look there.
Ramos had a golden chance to put Colombia ahead with a stellar run down the left, but Burdisso blocked the shot on goal with quality positioning in the box.
Uneventful few minutes as teams fight for advantage in the middle of the pitch. Nearly 25 minutes in and no solid chances on goal.
Messi, with a chance to charge towards goal, takes a touch at the top of the box but is denied by Aguilar, who made a lovely sliding tackle to knock the ball away from the Barca star.
Colombia win a corner, but Argentina eliminate the threat. After getting the ball back, the home side look to Rodriguez, who tires a shot from very far out, with the ball rolling comfortably to Romero.
The bald duo help Argentina escape danger as Clemente heads out a cross before Guinazu uses his tenacity to frustrate the Colombian midfield, stealing the ball away from the right.
Brana!!! After a nice little combination between several players on the left, the Estudiantes man takes a chance on goal but hits the Visa sign and not the goal.
Not much in the last few minutes as the nations fight for possession in the middle of the pitch. Brana looks a bit out of it for Argentina. The midfielder looks anything but comfortable on the ball.
Clemente Rodriguez tries a shot from way too far out. Geez, where have we seen that? Boca fans around the world surely cringe at the site of the defender taking another poor chance.
Nearly a costly error between Yepes and Ospina, who failed to communicate in the box as Colombia looked to clear. Messi nearly got the ball in time before the goalkeeper blasted it down the field.
Sosa checks to the ball from the top of the box, looking to send the ball to the wing. His pass, however, was closer to Colombia coach Leonel Alvarez than any teammate.
The game is filled with excitement in the early going, but not due to chances on goal. You can almost feel the pressure on Argentina as both teams are giving everything they have. The game is very open at the moment. Guinazu is moving well off the ball as the visitors look to advance down the field.
Frantic early moments as Messi nearly sends Higuain through. Colombia go on the counter after a nice stop defensively, but Guinazu steps in to break up the danger in the box. A lot of pace in the early going.
The match has begun. Here we go!
Many of you may be wondering who in the world is Pablo Guinazu. At 33 years old, the midfielder plays for Internacional in Brazil and has impressed during his time with the club since making the move in 2007, winning the Copa Sudamericana in 2008 and the Copa Libertadores in 2009. The former Independiente man has a wonderful chance to impress today for Argentina.
It's not the most attractive starting XI Argentines have seen, and it will surely raise questions and doubts. Martin Demichelis' place goes to the talented Federico Fernandez of Napoli. The Malaga man lost his spot after his horrific error leading to Bolivia's goal on Friday. Jorge Sosa replaces Pastore. Also, Fernando Gago and Ricky Alvarez are dropped in favour of Internacional's Pablo Guinazu and Estudiantes' Rodrigo Brana.
For Argentina: Romero; Zabaleta, Fernandez, Burdisso, C. Rodriguez; Sosa, Brana, Mascherano, Guinazu; Messi, Higuain.
Fredy Guarin will not play for Colombia after injuring himself in Friday's 1-1 draw to Venezuela. The Porto man will be replaced by Abel Aguilar, while Aquivaldo Mosquero comes in for Luis Perea, who is suspended.
The starting XI for each team is in. For the home team: Ospina; Zuniga, Mosquera, Yepes, Armero; Pabon, Bolivar, Aguilar, J. Rodriguez; Martinez, Ramos.
The last two games for Argentina have been terrible. Losing to Venezuela away and drawing Bolivia at home has certainly added to the pressure that the team already face. The country is demanding that things improve for the national side, and it may prove difficult to better the spirits of their fans tonight in what should be a dangerous encounter against Colombia.
As we take a look at the standings after the first few games, Argentina, somehow, are still in second place with four points from three games, three points behind Uruguay. Colombia have four points from two games and will draw level with the 2011 Copa America winners if they manage to take down their opponents today.
Welcome everyone to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of World Cup Qualifying for Brazil 2014. In what may be the tastiest game of Tuesday, Lionel Messi and Argentina travel north to take on powerful Colombia. I'm Roger Gonzalez, and I'll be providing updates from the contest.
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