Argentina 0-0 Colombia: Argentina win on 5-4 penalties

Posted on Jun 27 2015 - 7:23am by Ellis King

The first side to progress to semi-final 2 was Argentina as they overcame Colombia on penalties in a tight match-up in Viña del Mar. 

Argentina forced David Ospina to make an early save as Ángel Di María crossed well and Javier Pastore poked the ball towards goal. From the resulting corner Marcos Rojo should’ve tested Ospina again, but could only head into the stands.

In the 15th minute Argentina had valid claims for a penalty. Manchester United target Nicolás Otamendi appeared to be hauled down by Jeison Murillo but the referee, who appeared to be in a lenient mood, saw no wrongdoing.

Just moments later La Albiceleste has another shout for a penalty, this time Lionel Messi going down under a heavy challenge inside the box, but again the referee waved away the appeals.

Pastore was in fine form in the opening half, this time picking out Sergio Agüero in the box who forced a magnificent save from Ospina with his legs, prior to scrambling across the goal and keeping out the rebound as Messi looked to power a header home.

With seven minutes left in the half Cristián Zapata almost turned the ball into his own net, fortunately for Los Cafeteros the deflection headed straight into the grateful arms of Ospina.

Argentina’s first half dominance was outlined by the possession stats, weighing 64% to 36% in their favour. Despite this, they were unable to break Colombia down in the first half with the sides going in at 0-0.

The second half began in the same vein as the first, with Argentina dominating the opening moments.

Colombia’s first chance of the game came with 24 minutes to go, but ultimately every player involved took a touch too many, leaving the opportunity amount to nothing but a corner.

The strong defence of Colombia was proving to be impenetrable and they were beginning to increase their threat on the break in the final 15 minutes.

Substitute Éver Banega clipped the crossbar from a long range pop-shot as Messi attempted to weave his magic in search of snatching the tie late on.

Soon after that Ospina made another marvelous save. An Argentine corner was met by Otamendi who turned towards goal, but the sprawling Arsenal goalkeeper flicked the shot on to the post to keep Colombia in the game.

In the final minutes of the game Argentina looked to have broken down the Colombian defence, Ospina was beaten, Zapata was beaten but Murillo was not. With two Argentina players bundling towards goal, the Granada defender managed to scoop the ball away from a certain Argentine winner.

The game couldn’t be decided in 90 minutes, so the new rules of Copa America meant we’d go straight to penalties.

Colombia were first up, with Real Madrid’s James Rodríguez kicking off the shoot-out. He kicked it off in style, dispatching the first penalty with ease. 1-0.

Lionel Messi responded, going the same way and tucking his home too. 1-1.

Chelsea target Radamel Falcao smashed home the third. 2-1.

An odd choice on first viewing, Ezequiel Garay soon dismissed that opinion with a powerful finish. 2-2.

Juan Cuadrado went the same side as the four that preceded him and like those his ended up in the back of the net. 3-2.

Éver Banega decided to switch things up, tucking into the opposite corner. 3-3.

Luis Muriel then skied his penalty, giving Argentina the upper hand. 3-3.

Ezequiel Lavezzi’s penalty snuck inside the post. 4-3.

Edwin Cardona’s penalty just creeped past Sergio Romero, who got a touch to it. 4-4.

Lucas Biglia of Lazio had the chance to win it for Argentina, but shot WIDE. 4-4 after 5 penalties each.

Juan Camilo Zúñiga’s follow up penalty was kept out by Romero. 4-4.

The nerves were also clear in Manchester United’s Marcos Rojo, who blasted over the bar. 4-4 after 6 penalties each.

Colombia’s only goalscorer in the competition Jeison Murillo then blasted his penalty over the bar. 4-4.

Carlos Tevez stepped up this time and finally we had a winner as The Apache hit his penalty home. 5-4 after 7 penalties each.

Argentina: Romero; Zabaleta, Garay, Otamendi, Rojo; Pastore (Banega 77), Mascherano, Biglia; Messi, Agüero (Tevez 72), Di María (Lavezzi 87)

Colombia: Ospina; Zúñiga, Zapata, Murillo, Arias; Cuadrado, Mejía, Ibarbo (Muriel 85), James Rodríguez, Gutiérrez (Cardona 24), Martínez (Falcao 74)

Booked: James Rodríguez, Agüero, Mejía, Mascherano, Arias, Cuadrado, Falcao, Messi

Goalscorers: N/A

Man of the Match: David Ospina. The rumours of a move away from the Emirates Stadium appeared to have spurred Ospina on for this match, with the Colombian goalkeeper making a number of top quality saves to deny Messi and co.