Argentina depressed by second Copa draw

Copa America 2011

Argentina 0:0 Colombia

Argentina depressed by second Copa draw.
Argentina v Colombia

The host nation has embarked on a round of navel-gazing following a second successive draw in the Copa America.

On a foggy night in Santa Fe, Argentina, despite boasting the likes of Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez in their lineup, failed to catch fire and stumbled listlessly to a goalless finish with Colombia.

If anything, Los Cafeteros (the coffee growers) should have stolen the three points and enjoyed the better chances, particularly an open-goal miss by Dayro Moreno in the first half.

A limp back-pass by Barcelona's Gabriel Milito had allowed Adrian Ramos a clear run on goal and the Hertha Berlin striker tapped the ball wide of Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero before being scythed down by Nicolas Burdisso for a stonewall penalty.

But the referee played advantage as Moreno was racing in from the left with only a vacant net to hit. Luckily for the hosts the Tijuana striker fired into the side-netting instead.

Ramos had already spurned a chance to give Colombia the lead, Pablo Armero whistled a diagonal effort inches wide and Chelsea target Falcao troubled Romero with a couple of long-range shots.

Argentina v Colombia.
Argentina v Colombia

Messi at one point looked to have injured himself with nobody near him, putting too much pressure on his right leg. The World Player of the Year dazzled at times but his and Tevez's dribbling cameos occurred in isolation as the Albiceleste (White & Sky Blue) put in a disjointed performance devoid of real attacking team-play.

Argentina v Colombia

Argentina might have grabbed a goal in the first half when Napoli marksman Ezequiel Lavezzi was one-on-one with Neco Martinez, but the Colombian goalkeeper stretched out a leg to prevent the strike. After the break substitute striker Gonzalo Higuain cut in dangerously from the left and drew a low save from Martinez at his near post but was the extent of the hosts' threat in front of goal.

"The worst moment of the Batista era" cried 'La Nacion' newspaper in Argentina, piling the pressure onto the beleaguered coach Sergio Batista.

"Batista guides the Titanic towards the iceberg," decided Spain's AS, and "Come back Diego" was the cheeky headline in Brazil's Globodesporte.

Batista in his defence, wondered if his diminutive ball wizards were not the problem rather than the solution: "Maybe we lack a No.9 in the box", he noted.

Argentina's last group game is on Monday against Costa Rica in Cordoba, where only victory will do to ensure passage to the quarter-finals.

ARG - Romero, Zabaleta, Burdisso, Milito, Zanetti, Banega (Higuain 71'), Mascherano, Cambiasso (Gago 64'), Lavezzi (Aguero 64') Messi, Tevez
COL- Martinez, Armero, Perea, Yepes, Zunida, Aguilar, Guarin, Dayro Moreno (Mosquera 91'), Ramos (Soto 89'), Carlos Moreno, Falcao (Gutierrez 87')

Group A
Colombia Pld 2 pts 4
Argentina Pld 2 Pts 2
Bolivia Pld 1 Pts 1
Costa Rica Pld 1 Pts 0

Today: Bolivia v Costa Rica


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