Two goals from Colombia gave Argentina a nightmare start in the opening match of the Copa America and the former’s first win over the Alberceleste since 2007.
It was a match that had a plethora of stars and well-known names in Angel Di Maria, Aguero, Falcao, Cuadrado, Messi and James Rodriguez, yet it was Roger Martinez who put the Colombians in front.
This loss puts the Alberceleste in a really difficult situation having failed to win the title in a long time and finishing runners-up in four of the last five editions of the cup.
Martinez fantastic strike took Colombia ahead in the 71st minute before substitute Duvan Zapata got the second having converted from close range on receiving a cross from Jefferson Lerma 15 minutes later.
“This is not the way we wanted to begin,” Messi said after the match. “There was a little bit of nerves, of wanting to have a good debut, of not wanting to commit mistakes.”
Colombia though with a sluggish start had the better chances and brand of football in the first forty-five minutes but an introduction of Rodrigo de Paul for Di Maria let Argentina develop into a different beast and consequently Messi could now find some space to cause a bunch of problems.
Messi wasted the best chance of the encounter before Martinez’s piledriver took his side ahead.
A mass brawl ensued when Juan Cuadrado took Messi to the ground while Argentine Leandro Paredes fizzled two strikes at goal.
Argentina were gutted by Martinez’s strike and although they tried whisking some shots at goal a few times but they never really felt close to scoring.
Messi on the game said there was still a lot of football to play in the competition suggesting that it was just a slow beginning.
“We have to keep our heads high and think about what’s next, because this is just the beginning and there’s still a lot of Copa to be played,” Messi said.
Radamel Falcao was full of praises for the Argentine captain saying he was the best player in the world and that Argentina was a hard team to break down overall partly because of the presence of Messi.