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World Cup Qualifying - (South America)
WC Qualification South America
June 7, 2013
• Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Capital Federal, Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Referee: M. Escalante
• Attendance: 44087
Well that's all from me. I'll be back here next week when Argentina travel to Ecuador on Tuesday. Hasta pronto chicos.
Was a pretty poor second half in the end, with the two first-half red cards a clear turning point. Neither side really knew what they were trying to do after that.
90' + 3'
And that's that. It's all over. It's 0-0. Mascherano isn't happy, but everyone else looks content with the draw.
90' + 1'
Well it looks like they'll share the points here. A few positives for both teams, but perhaps most important is just how much these two can say they have come on since the Copa America, where both were pretty awful.
Yellow Card Camilo Zúñiga
Zuniga turns Rojo on the right before throwing himself to the floor looking for a free kick. He'll be booked for his troubles, making his little tantrum look all the more silly.
Colombia now have a chance from a set piece. Cuadrado delivers from the right, but Garay clears. And again, before Di Maria smashes it down field.
Cuadrado stands up Rojo on the right, throws a couple of stepovers in his direction, but Rojo is having none of it. The Sporting man has done really well since finally getting out wide to halt Colombia's attacks down the right. If he had done that in the first half, Montillo might have had a better evening.
Messi delivers a free kick from wide right, some 40 yards from goal, but again Yepes rises like to head away. The ball eventually breaks for Di Maria, but his effort from range goes harmlessly wide.
Fernandez plays a smart ball over the top for Lavezzi, but the PSG man can't find Messi in the middle and again it comes to nothing. Looks like we're heading for a goalless draw here, folks.
Just get the feeling Argentina need to inject some more pace into he game. They''ll do so by introducing Ezequiel Lavezzi, who replaces Aguero.
Cuadrado gives it away on the edge of his own box to allow Messi and Biglia to combine, but again they're crowded out. Colombia defending really well.
Yellow Card Pablo Zabaleta
Falcao breaks down the left and forces Zabaleta into conceding a corner. Nothing doing.
Colombia enjoying some possession but can't find a way through.
Aguero has it in the net for a second time but once again it;s ruled out. Incorrectly, I might add. Nobody was offside, certainly not Aguero as he tapped in a low cross from a yard out. The Argentina players surround the assistant who flagged, and Sabella joins them, but they won't change his mind. Colombia got lucky there.
Space beginning to pen up, but by God this Colombia side are athletic. They won't be done for speed. Well, everyone but Yepes.
Yellow Card Ezequiel Garay
That's a silly foul and a clear booking for Garay for wrestling Cuadrado to the ground on the halfway line.
Aguero plays in Messi on the touchline, but even he can't evade three Colombian defenders.
Get the feeling we may be heading for a draw here.
25 minutes to go. All to play for. I appear to be running out of things to say.
Messi delivers, Ospina dives and punches away. And Opsina is down. Have no idea what he's hurt. Neither does he, I suspect.
Kun Aguero tripped just outside the box on the left. Chance for Argentina now. Chance for 'un gol Ingles.'
Can just sense the tide is about to turn here as Messi's introduction turns the volume up in El Monumental.
Mascherano comes forward and tries his luck, but sends his long shot over the bar.
Talk about an immediate impact. Messi charges through, plays a one-two, knocks it wide fro Zabaleta and his cross nearly bounces up and over Ospina.
And there's the change I was suggesting earlier. Messi replaces Montillo.
I quite like the Fray. But then i like Coldplay as well as UGK and the Screwed Up Click. Not sure why I'm mentioning that.
And here he is. Leo Messi prepares to enter the fray.
Another late one from Cuadrado on Zabaleta. He'll have to be careful.
Goooool, no! Aguero has it in the back of the net, but he's offside. As you were, people, as you were.
Colombia just looking a little faster and stronger than the hosts right now. Time for a change, Alex?
Meanwhile, beside said pitch, Leo Messi warms up.
Ole Ole Ole Ole. Great move from Colombia, passing out of defence and traveling the length of the pitch to win a corner.
In it comes, headed away. Back it comes. Straight to Romero.
Fernandez bundles over Falcao on the right, and it's a free kick to Colombia.
No changes for either side, so it's as we were.
And we're off, again.
More fabulous insight from Daniel Colasimone: "I believe Argentinian empanadas edge it, but Colombians serve them with sauce. Sauce people! It's not rocket surgery!"
Alleged "gun-toting" Teo Gutierrez on the bench for Colombia. Another familiar face to the Argentine public.
@rickyCash_COYG reckons the Hig's red was harsh, while @hfoster02 thinks the ref blew up too early. Probably did, but both teams looked ready for the break.
45' + 1'
See you in 15. Get at me on the Twittersphere and let me know what you think of the red cards, and the game as a whole. @Rupert_Fryer
Yellow Card Mario Yepes
Well Yepes lasted 45 minutes without a booking. Well done him.
And that's half time. Real shame, the two red cards. The game certainly died down a little since then, as neither side really seemed to know what they were then doing.
Another free kick for Argentina. And Di Maria stands over the ball again. 25 yards out, just right of centre. Here he goes... into the wall.
Little Leo looks on. He fancies this. Montillo has struggled so far; bringing on Messi and putting Di Maria back on the left could be a very productive change for Argentina.
What a shame! Wonderful play from Argentina, starting with nutmeg from Fernandez right in the corner. Seven passes later and they were clear, but Aguero went alone when he should have passed and the chance was gone. What a goal that could have been.
Drunk too much Yerba here. Come on, half time.
Yellow Card Lucas Biglia
The game has just settled down a little now as both teams probably just want to take a break and regroup after going a man down.
Daleee, Jackons Martinez waltzes around Montillo on the touchline. Sabella may look to switch Montillo with Di Maria at some point if this continues.
Zuniga again turns and races away from Montillo; he's just too quick and strong for the Santos man. Rojo has to get closer. Most of Colombia's good play is coming down that right wing.
Yellow Card Juan Cuadrado
Ouch. That was late from Cuadrado on Zabaleta and he'll go into the book.
That's a huge loss for Colmbia and you can't help feel it a bit of a shame that Pekerman didn't go like-for-like and introduce Macnelly Torres. You can't help that, can you? You know, the royal you? Well, I can't anyway.
Cuadrado replaces him.
James Rodriguez was clutching his calf. He goes off on one of those lovely little cars and Colombia prepare a substitution.
And with that, Ham-ez is down. Looks like his night might be over.
Rojo and Montillo combine for the first time all evening on the left, with the former's cross finding Augero in the box, leading to a bit of panic as the ball lopped up into the air only for Ospina to punch behind for a corner.
Both sides now giving it away. But here come Argentina. Di Maria finds space wide left, but is tackled by Yepes. Where was the caño?
Well, how silly that was. For what it;s worth, both reds were probably harsh. Nobody benefits from this. Anyway the increased space might make for some added fun.
Higuain appeared to kick out at Zapata, who then gave him the slightest of kicks back when the Real Madrid man was on the floor. They're both off, though you get the feeling that if Zapata had ignored it, both men would still be on the pitch.
Red Card Gonzalo Higuaín
Colombia are furiously pointing at Higuain - and he's off too! Double red card.
Red Card Cristian Zapata
Daleeeee! Handbags as Higuain goes in on Ospina. And Zapata is sent off!
Di Maria deliver a low cross from the right, but Yepes clears.
Di Maria plays Aguero into the box, who is pursued by Colombia goalkeeper Ospina and eventually tackled near the corner flag. It's ruled a foul. Love a goalkeeper dashing off his line and giving chase to an opposing forward.
In the words of everyone favourite Australian Argentine-football expert Daniel Colasimone: "Lovely helter skelter game this."
Having said that, Falcao works space for a shot inside the box on the right, sending his low effort across Romero, who has to palm the ball away.
Great start here. Chances for both reams. Let's hop this continues.
Gol de Colombia? No. Rodriguez threaded through Jackson Martinez, who slammed the ball past Romero, only to find himself ruled offside.
As well as Yepes, Falcao of course used to play his football here at El Monumental too.
Tupac would be great on Twitter.
Yellow Card A. Aguilar
By the way, hit me up (as Tupac would say) on the Twitter and let me know what's getting you through the match tonight. I remain completely neutral but am sipping a famous Argentine brand of Yerba Mate.
Montillo threw his hands up there, staring right at left-back Marcos Rojo, who will need to start helping the Santos man out with Zuniga. Argentina should be two on one when Colombia go wide. Rojo needs to get closer to Montillo.
Huge chance for Colombia, but Falcao of all people heads miles wide from just 6 yards. Zuniga again nipped past Montillo on the right and delivered a fabulous cross right on El Tigre's head. The new Monaco man appeared to think the ball would be cleared by Garay and got his header all wrong.
Free kick on the right for Argentina. Di Maria delivers, but it;s too low and is cleared away. The ball eventually breaks back to the Real Madrid man, but his low volley is straight at Ospina.
While Walter Montillo replaced you-know-who for Argentina tonight, it's Angel Di Maria who appears to have taken over playmaking duties for the hosts.
Angel Di Maris plays Higuain through on goal but Ospina races from his line to palm the ball away. Real chance for Argentina there. Di Maria looks in the mood.
Ham-ez Rodriguez strikes... straight at Romero.
Lucas Biglia trips Jackons Martinez and Colombia have a free kick, 30 yards out and dead centre..
And there's the first mention of Riquelme. Okay, who had 6 minutes?
Speaking of Mario Yepes, this is a homecoming for the veteran Colombian, who spent three years with River Plate, during which time he won two league titles as well as finding himself on the end of one the great nutmegs courtesy of Juan Roman Riquelme.
Lovely flick from Di Maria sees zabaleta get in around the back on the right, and his low cross very nearly present Higuain a tap-in.
James Rodriguez delivers a deep corner fro Colombia, but Yepes heads way wide.
Argentina start on the front foot, sending a free kick into the Colombia area but it's headed away. And we have a problem with the ball here, as Yepes gives it a good squeeze and tells the ref it;s rubbish.
Argentina can't secure their place in Brazil this evening, but a victory would mean they could do in Ecuador next week.
And we're off!
Oh, and Monaco new boys Falcao and James Rodriguez start too.
The teams are out on the pitch and we're ready to go.
Colombia currently occupy third place in the Conmebol World Cup standings, and look on course to make their first finals since 1998. Coach Jose Pekerman, an Argentine, has done a wonderful job since taking over Los Cafeteros, introducing creativity to a midfield that was totally devoid of ideas prior to his arrival.
Speaking of whom, Venezuela have just earned a 1-1 draw in the night's first clash against Bolivia in La Paz.
Argentina have lost just one match in this World Cup qualifying campaign: a 1-0 defeat away to Venezuela.
The one we've all ben waiting for is nearly here, as the two best the continent has to offer right now face off in Buenos Aires. You can send your thoughs, comments and predictions - or your abuse - to me on Twitter @Rupert_Fryer.
Colombia: Ospina, Zuniga, Zapata, Yepes, Armero, Sanche, Aguilar, Aldo, James Rodriguez, Falcao, Jackson Martinez
Argentina: Romero, Zabaleta, Garay, Fernandez, Rojo, Biglia, Mascherano, Montillo, Di Maria. Higuain, Aguero
The team news is in, and Lionel Messi is on the bench.
Good evening and welcome to Goal's live commentary of Argentina vs Cololmbia at El Monumental. My name is Rupert Fryer and I'll be here to guide you through all the action this evening.
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