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Argentina v Colombia Live Commentary, 27/06/2015

PEN 5 - 4
0 - 0
ARG
COL
Estadio Sausalito
(FT 0 - 0)

Commentary

Argentina will go on to face the winner of tomorrow's contest between Brazil and Paraguay, so be sure to come back for that! I am Alex Moretto and I would like to thank you all for joining me here today. Good bye!
FULL TIME: ARGENTINA 0-0 COLOMBIA (5-4 PEN). In the end justice is served, but it's heartbreaking for Los Cafeteros who exit the tournament in the most dramatic of ways. La Albiceleste did everything but score in the 90 minutes, and just when it looked like they would be made to pay for not taking their chances, up stepped Carlos Tevez to save the day. It may have lacked the goals, but this one lived up to the hype in just about every way possible. Only one team can go through, but they can both leave with their heads held high, producing a match for the ages.
C. Tevez
Penalty SO Goal
Argentina
Penalty SO Goal Carlos Alberto Tevez GOOOOOOOOOAL! On the night Boca Juniors announce they're bringing Tevez back to Argentina, he scores the decisive penalty to send La Albiceleste into the semi-finals. Incredible!
J. Murillo
Penalty SO Miss
Colombia
Penalty SO Miss Jeison Fabián Murillo Cerón FOUR STRAIGHT MISSES! Dreadful from Murillo who blasts this one into orbit, miles over the bar! Argentina again with a chance to win it...
M. Rojo
Penalty SO Miss
Argentina
Penalty SO Miss Faustino Marcos Alberto Rojo DO THEY EVEN WANT TO WIN?! Of course they do, but the pressure is proving to be too much for these players! Rojo lifts an effort off the bar and again Argentina squander the chance to book their ticket to the semi-finals!
C. Zúñiga
Penalty SO Miss
Colombia
Penalty SO Miss Juan Camilo Zúñiga Mosquera REDEMPTION! Romero guesses right again and this time his strong hands keep out Zuniga's effort! Argentina can win it again with their next kick!
L. Biglia
Penalty SO Miss
Argentina
Penalty SO Miss Lucas Rodrigo Biglia EXTRA SHOTS NEEDED! The pressure gets the the vastly experienced Biglia, who scuffs a shot wide of the near post! Shocking stuff, but Colombia are right back in it!
E. Cardona
Penalty SO Goal
Colombia
Penalty SO Goal Edwin Andrés Cardona Bedoya SHOULD HAVE BEEN STOPPED! Romero guesses right and gets both hands to it, but somehow can't keep it out! This game should be over!
E. Lavezzi
Penalty SO Goal
Argentina
Penalty SO Goal Ezequiel Iván Lavezzi PERFECT PLACEMENT! It's off the post and in from the PSG forward, who puts all the pressure on Colombia who have to score now!
L. Muriel
Penalty SO Miss
Colombia
Penalty SO Miss Luis Fernando Muriel Fruto Dreadful! That wasn't even close! He came on late in the 90 minutes and he may not have been warmed up as he lifts a shot miles over the bar!
É. Banega
Penalty SO Goal
Argentina
Penalty SO Goal Éver Maximiliano David Banega Just squeezes it in! Banega places it just inside the post, with Ospina coming dangerously close to keeping it out.
J. Cuadrado
Penalty SO Goal
Colombia
Penalty SO Goal Juan Guillermo Cuadrado Bello All four penalties have been sent into the same side of the net, and Cuadrado makes it five. Confident finish from the Chelsea winger.
E. Garay
Penalty SO Goal
Argentina
Penalty SO Goal Ezequiel Marcelo Garay Unstoppable! The confidence it takes to execute a penalty like that cannot be understated! Garay blasts a shot past Ospina and into the roof of the net!
R. Falcao
Penalty SO Goal
Colombia
Penalty SO Goal Radamel Falcao García Zárate Romero nearly got to that one! Falcao lifts it confidently into the top corner, but the keeper was just inches away from getting a hand to it.
L. Messi
Penalty SO Goal
Argentina
Penalty SO Goal Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini Messi goes the same way with his kick, although it's a bit higher, sending Ospina the wrong way.
J. Rodríguez
Penalty SO Goal
Colombia
Penalty SO Goal James David Rodríguez Rubio JAMES CONVERTS! Cool and confident from the Real Madrid midfielder who rolls it past Romero and then exchanges a hug and laugh with the Argentina keeper.
STAT ATTACK: Argentina beat Colombia on 6-5 on penalties in the semi-final of Copa America 1993, before going on to win the tournament.
It looks like Colombia will shoot first here, so settle in, try to relax and enjoy the show!
It's come down to this! That was about as exciting as a scoreless draw can get, but it will all come down to penalties. Will Argentina be rewarded for their endless chances - and I mean endless - or will it be David Ospina who continues to steal the spotlight? He's been the man of the match thus far and now has the opportunity to etch his name in Colombian folklore!
The final chance comes from a corner, but Ospina shuts the door as he comes off his line to collect the cross and sniff out the chance. Fitting end to regulation time, and we're off to penalties!
Argentina are mustering the final push for a winner, but it doesn't appear to be playing out the way they had hoped. They win another free kick in the attacking half, only this time Banega's delivery sails well over the heads of his teammates and behind for a goal kick.
L. Messi
Yellow Card
Argentina
Yellow card Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini
Four minutes will be added on here for someone to find a breakthrough, or it's onto penalties!
CLEARED OFF THE LINE AGAIN! Tevez sprints onto the end of a bouncing through ball, but Zapata just knocks it away. His clearance is headed straight for the gaping goal, however, with Ospina parried, but Murillo arrives hardly a split-second before Lavezzi to clear it off the line! Incredible!
E. Lavezzi
Á. Di María
Argentina
Substitution Ángel Fabián di María Hernández Ezequiel Iván Lavezzi
R. Falcao
Yellow Card
Colombia
Yellow card Radamel Falcao García Zárate Ruthless from Falcao. He's the latest to be booked as he gets an elbow up into the chest of Otamendi as the duo battle for the ball.
L. Muriel
V. Ibarbo
Colombia
Substitution Segundo Víctor Ibarbo Guerrero Luis Fernando Muriel Fruto This could be a change made with penalties on the mind of Pekerman. Muriel certainly is capable up top, as he's shown time and time again in Serie A, but with such little time remaining, the forward's biggest impact could come after the 90 minutes.
Gorgeous delivery! James lifs a cross into the centre, inviting two Colombian heads to get on the end of it, but some miscommunication sees it run all the way through and out the other side for an Argentina throw.
That's the James we know! Great skill from the Real Marid midfielder as he charges forward, puts the breaks on and wins a free kick in dangerous territory as he's toppled over from behind by Rojo. What a chance this is for Colombia.
HOW HAS THAT STAYED OUT?! Argentina can't seem to buy a goal! Otamendi does well to meet Di Maria's corner, but Ospina gets just enough of his effort to turn the ball off the inside of the post before Zuniga scrambles it off the line! Astonishing!
NEARLY THERE FROM BANEGA! He's barely been on for a minute and he nearly provides the breakthrough! Cuadrado puts in a good tackle to dispossess Messi, but the ball falls kindly for Banega who lifts an effort just over the net, grazing the top of the bar!
É. Banega
J. Pastore
Argentina
Substitution Javier Matías Pastore Éver Maximiliano David Banega Change number two for Argentina. Pastore has shown flashes in attack, but he's been unable to consistently assert his influence in midfield. He's grown a bit tired, so on come some fresh legs to try and break this deadlock.
Colombia seem to have settled down a bit as they enjoy more possession than they've been accustomed to in this match. It's all become a bit cagey, in fact, with the ball contained in midfield. These sides seem to be preparing for the final push.
R. Falcao
J. Martínez
Colombia
Substitution Jackson Arley Martínez Valencia Radamel Falcao García Zárate He's been largely disappointing in the group stage, but what an opportunity this is for Falcao to squash his demons. The striker comes on to replace the largely ineffectual Jackson Martinez as we inch closer and closer to penalties.
Murillo to the rescue! Spectacular ball from Aguero to send Messi through behind the defence, but astonishingly, the Colombian centre-half shows great pace to recover and swoop in to dispossess him at the vital moment. Time for some substitutions... and perhaps a quick, much-needed breather!
C. Tevez
S. Agüero
Argentina
Substitution Sergio Leonel Agüero del Castillo Carlos Alberto Tevez The newest member of Boca Juniors, striker Carlos Tevez, is on to try and tilt this in Argentina's favour. Can he provide the final touch they have been so desperately searching for?
We have less than 20 minutes remaining now before penalties. Considering how well Argentina have played, they will desperately be trying to avoid the lottery. Colombia would be thrilled to see this draw out and test their luck. Will La Albicileste be rewarded for their positive play?
The sheer number of free kicks Argentina have had tonight is staggering. Messi has won so many of them, as Colombia seem content with fouling him to prevent any further damge. The Barcelona forward lifts the lastest into the area, but again Los Cafeteros are first to it as they clear their lines.
STRAIGHT AT ROMERO! It's the first shot on goal for Colombia, but it nearly produces the breakthrough! From a corner, Jackson meets the ball and sends a thumping header at goal. If it finds the corner it's in, but it's straight at Romero who makes a straightforward stop.
No end product! That's the danger Colombia pose, however, and we're seeing it for the first time tonight! They get forward in waves, with Cuadrado the catalyst. He squares the ball up for James in the centre, who rolls a pass across for Ibarbo, but the winger can't get a shot off! Vital defensive work there as it's deflected behind for a corner.
Zabaleta gets away with one! The right-back puts his hand on the throat of Arias, who was trying to get the ball back to take a free kick. I don't know how it's gone unnoticed, but it must have or that could have been very bad for the Manchester City man, a la Edinson Cavani on Wednesday.
STAT ATTACK: In the previous six Copa Americas (formerly known as the South American Championship) held in Chile, Argentina have finished in the top two on each occasion – winning each of the last four.
He won't go without a fight, however, barking across to the Colombia bench. We've reached the boiling point in Vina del Mar!
Controversy! Cuadrado goes to play the ball and he collides hard with Rojo. The left-back goes down in a heap and Argentina cry out for a second yellow card and a sending off. This time he opts to keep it in his pocket, which prompts the coaching staff to go berserk on the touchline - and Gerardo Martino's right-hand man has been sent to the locker room!
There has been a common theme throughout this match. Messi provides a bit of brilliance from midfield, breaches the Colombia back line, but some last-ditch defending has been just enough to keep them out. At what point will they find a breakthrough? Los Cafeteros are hanging by a thread!
Play finally resumes as Ospina is back to his feet. The Colombian fans in attendance are in full voice, showing their appreciation for the keeper - who is the sole reason this match remains scoreless at the moment.
SUPERMAN SIGHTING! It's a bird, it's a place, it's... David Ospina! Top class service from Messi who sends a perfect ball over the top for Di Maria, but the second it left his foot, the keeper was sprinting off his line like a horse out of the gate. It's Manuel Nuer-esque from Ospina who wins the race to the ball and makes a goal-saving clearance before being toppled over by the Manchester United-man.
Colombia are looking increasingly frantic at the back. A ludicrous clearance attempt by Murillo nearly allows Aguero through, but Arias arrives to collect. The PSV defender carelessly gives possession right back to Argentina, but again he's bailed out by a good recovery tackle from Cardona.
For all their dominance, Argentina have nothing to show for it and that's a dangerous game they are playing. It has been a common theme for them of late, and the longer Colombia can withstand this pressure, the more they will fancy their chances of stealing this game late.
Another free kick is won by Argentina and Di Maria stands over it up against the byline. His delivery is inviting, but Colombia are first to it. They can't clear their lines convincingly and again the pressure stays on.
Here we go again! No changes at the break.
There were a staggering six yellow cards handed out in the first half - something else to keep your eye on as this match progresses. They've been handed out like candy, and at this rate it would seem as though a sending off is imminent.
HALF TIME: ARGENTINA 0-0 COLOMBIA. Still nothing to separate the two sides at the end of what has been an incredibly one-sided affair. They have peppered the Colombian goal, applying relentless pressure, but Ospina has been superb to prevent the breakthrough. This performance simply does not cut it from Los Cafeteros, who will need to figure out a way to keep the ball and test Romero, because they hardly saw the Argentina end in the first half.
There will be just one minute of added time at the end of this first half.
OSPINA TO THE RESCUE AGAIN! Absolutely brilliant from the keeper! Pastore peels off his man far too easily following a free kick and appears to be through on goal. Ospina rushes off his line and gets his hand do the ball just as the PSG-man meets it, but he somehow manages to get the stronger touch to keep it out!
Lovely set-up! Rojo is looking dangerous on the overlap and he sends an inviting cross into the centre. Aguero knocks it down kindly for Biglia, but the midfielder drags an effort just inches wide of the post!
J. Cuadrado
Yellow Card
Colombia
Yellow card Juan Guillermo Cuadrado Bello There's no debating this one as Cuadrado is forced to drag down Rojo after being beaten clean by the defender on the flank. He'll argue anyways, of course.
MAGIC MESSI! Delightful from the Barcelona forward, though we have come to expect nothing less. He prances forward and lays the ball off for Di Maria on the flank. The build-up fizzles out as Zapata intercepts again, but he can't clear as it comes back to Messi who sends a clever effort on goal that Ospina is able to control.
S. Arias
Yellow Card
Colombia
Yellow card Santiago Arias Naranjo
The bookings are quickly accumulating and the referee has set a dangerous precedent here. By taking out the card so early on James, he's had to stay consistent but it's turned out to be a big mistake. It would be surprising if this matched finished 11 aside.
J. Mascherano
Yellow Card
Argentina
Yellow card Javier Alejandro Mascherano Mascherano needs to calm himself down. He's been known to lose his temper at times and here he is starting to commit to some hard and rather unnecessary tackles in midfield. He takes out James from behind and will have to walk a tight line for the rest of the match now.
Colombia fail to convincingly clear a Di Maria free kick, allowing La Albiceleste to keep the pressure on. A clever one-two nearly sees Messi release Zabaleta through on goal, but Zapata makes another vital interception.
It simply has to be better from Colombia. Argentina have utterly dominated as we pass the half-hour mark and they are showing no signs of letting up. The game only remains scoreless due to Ospina's heroics and some last-ditch defending, but Los Cafeteros can hardly carry on this way.
Mascherano picks up a foul for a hard tackle on Ibarbo, and the players come together as they pick themselves up off the ground. The Barcelona-man isn't one to back down, and he keeps at it as Cardona arrives to help his teammate. The fireworks are starting to set off.
There is simply no way to exaggerate the difficulty and wow-factor of that double save from Ospina. Absolutely cold-blooded from the Arsenal keeper to outright steal the opening goal from the best player in the world.
ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE! Surely the save of the tournament from Ospina! Pastore is sprung down the right and his cross is met by Aguero who is spectacularly denied by the trailing leg of the keeper. As if that wasn't good enough, Messi arrives to head home the sure opener from the rebound, but Ospina - from out of nowhere -flings his hands into the air to miraculously keep it out!
E. Cardona
T. Gutiérrez
Colombia
Substitution Teófilo Antonio Gutiérrez Roncancio Edwin Andrés Cardona Bedoya Jose Pekerman has seen enough. Both his central midfielders are on a yellow less than a half-hour into the game and that's a risk he doesn't want to take. This is a clear tactical change as Edwin Cardona comes on in place of striker Teo Gutierrez, to lend a much-needed hand to Meija.
The pressure from Argentina is absolutely relentless, and the referee is feeling it as well with both teams very vocal with their protests after each and every whistle. It's all starting to boil over here and the referee absolutely must regain control of the match.
A. Mejía
Yellow Card
Colombia
Yellow card Alexander Mejía Sabalsa Another clear foul, this one finally given by the referee as Messi again uses his change of pace to force Meija into conceding a free kick.
S. Agüero
Yellow Card
Argentina
Yellow card Sergio Leonel Agüero del Castillo He's lost the plot! A corner isn't dealt with and the ball runs through for Aguero and Messi at the back post. The duo are taken to ground almost simultaniously, but nothing is given by the referee. Aguero absolutely loses it on the referee, getting right in his face, and he's lucky yellow is all he got.
End-to-end stuff! Messi sprints to the top of the area and looks to shift his way into space for a shot, but a crucial tackle from Zapata sniffs it out. Back the other way come Colombia and a ball played over the top for Martinez just doesn't get the friendly roll the striker needed to be clean through on goal.
NO PENALTY GIVEN! Otamendi charges into the area to get on the end of a free kick and he's blatantly dragged down by Murillo who had his arms draped around the defender. Would he have got his head to it? That's up for debate, but the referee must not have thought so!
Colombia have not shown much of anything in possession. There seems to be a breakdown in communication when they cross the halfway line and nerves also appear to be something of an issue as their passes lack any sort of decisiveness.
J. Rodríguez
Yellow Card
Colombia
Yellow card James David Rodríguez Rubio Such a needless booking for the Real Madrid man to pick up. His dissent toward the referee following a decision to award Argentina a throw will see his name go into the book. That won't make Pekerman very happy.
VITAL CLEARANCE! A giveaway in midfield presents Argentina with a chance to break. Messi sprints forward and plays Di Maria through on the left. He passes up a shot, perhas not the best decision, as he tries to chip a return pass back for the Barcelona-man, but Zapata acrobatically hooks it away from danger!
Colombia have settled in and they are ejoying a good spell in possession. Their fans got their wish with James moving back into a central role, so we will see if he can rediscover the form that saw him impress everyone at the World Cup just one short year ago.
LIFTED OVER! The ensuing corner presents a great chance for La Albicleste as Rojo meets it, unmarked. He can't keep the free header down, however, as he disappointingly lifts it over the bar.
Tremendous build-up! Argentina have plenty of width to them early on, as they attack largely down the left flank. Messi drifts into a central position and plays Di Maria into space on the wing. The Manchester United man rolls a return ball across the face of goal but a strong defensive intervention from Murillo is able to deny the chance.
Quiet start to the match with little attacking presence managed by either side. That is to be somewhat expected, however, as these two South American powerhouses feel each other out. Neither team will want to make that first costly mistake with all the attacking quality out on the pitch.
And we're off, with a spot in the last four on the line!
These star-studded teams are lined up and just about set for the start of the match. Here's to hoping it lives up to the hype - of course it's hard to see how it wouldn't!
The big news on the opposite touchline, although not the most surprising, surround Radamel Falcao who is dropped to the bench after continuosly misfiring in the group phase, to be replaced by Jackson Martinez. He is part of an incredibly attacking team Jose Pekerman has named for tonight, clearly hoping it will solve their scoring woes. Edwin Valencia is out injured, replaced by Alexander Meija, but Carlos Sanchez is also dropped with James Rodriguez taking his place in the middle. That makes room for Victor Ibarbo, who along with Juan Cuadrado, should offer a ton of width and pace to Los Cafeteros in attack.
Gerardo Martino has opted not to tamper much with his side following successive 1-0 victories. Nicolas Otamendi is restored at the back at the expense of Martin Demichelis, while Sergio Aguero returns to spearhead Argentina's three-headed monster in attack after resting with a slight knock against Jamaica.
COLOMBIA SUBS: Franco, Armero, Cardona, Falcao, Vargas, Andrade, Valdes, Muriel, Bonilla.
ARGENTINA SUBS: Roncaglia, Gago, Pereyra, Higuain, Guzman, Casco, Demichelis, Tevez, Banega, Lamela, Lavezzi, Marchesin.
COLOMBIA (4-4-2): Ospina; Zuniga, Zapata, Murillo, Arias; Cuadrado, Meija, James, Ibarbo; Martinez, Gutierrez.
ARGENTINA (4-3-3): Romero; Zabaleta, Garay, Otamendi, Rojo; Biglia, Mascherano, Pastore; Messi, di Maria, Aguero.
With that being said, here are the teams set to faceoff this evening in Vina del Mar:
Colombia were given a second chance when Brazil defeated Venezuela to send them through to the knockout stage, after they failed to take care of business themselves against Peru. The draw wasn’t exactly kind to them either, but in order to be the best you have to beat the best. Jose Pekerman’s side will be looking to make the most of their second chance as they try to pull the upset – the significance of which lays in the eye of the beholder – against the tournament favourites this evening. Their attack has sputtered in surprising fashion thus far, so we’ll see what sort of changes are made ahead of their date with the World Cup finalists.
Argentina have the toughest road to the final among group winners. La Albiceleste’s path starts off against Colombia and will then see them take on the winner of Brazil and Paraguay before a likely date with the hosts in the final. Should they fulfil their reputation as tournament favourites, they very well could look back at their road and take pride in beating the fourth (Colombia) and fifth (Brazil) ranked teams in the world, before defeating the 19th ranked side on their home turf. It would be quite the accomplishment, but there’s still a long way to go for Lionel Messi and company who have been far from dominant in their opening three matches.
It may just be the quarter-finals, but this has all the making of the game of the tournament. It’s Argentina and Colombia, the third and fourth ranked teams in the world and the top two in South America, set to go toe-to-toe at the Estadio Sausalito! I am Alex Moretto and I will be your scribe for the evening, guiding you through all the action from Vina del Mar.