Argentina's Sergio Batista: Things Did Not Go Lionel Messi's Way Against Colombia

The coach did not blame supporters for their anger at the end of another poor match, while defending a less-than sparkling performance from Lionel Messi
Argentina coach Sergio Batista admitted that he understood the fans who booed his team off the pitch in Santa Fe, after the hosts drew 0-0 in the second Copa America group game against a determined Colombia side.

The Albiceleste were once again disappointing after staggering to a second point of the tournament, which means a win against Costa Rica in their final match is essential to avoid an unimaginable elimination from the group stages. Frustrated fans booed and jeered Lionel Messi and his team mates at the final whistle, and the trainer expressed his sympathies.

"The fans come to watch us win. We don't like that sort of thing, but it is understandable," Batista told reporters in a post-match press conference attended by

For the second game in a row, team figure-head Messi failed to inspire his side, showing only glimpses of his true form as he was marshalled by Carlos Sanchez in midfield. Batista chose to praise the Colombian defence for making life difficult for his No. 10.

"They closed down Lionel's spaces very well. Today, things did not go his way, but that is a compliment to our opposition."

A loss or draw against Costa Rica, depending on the result of their game against Bolivia tomorrow, could leave Argentina crashing out of the Copa America in the first round. Batista was confident of securing qualification, but urged his team to give everything in next week's meeting.

"We now play Costa Rica and it is a final, but if we win we will have five points and qualify comfortably. We must play with calm."

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