The second round of Copa América group play kicked off with a clash between Argentina and Colombia.
Agüero’s Albiceleste side, hosts of the competition, came into the match against Perea’s Cafeteros off the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw against Bolivia and desperately needed to convince their fans that the inaugural match was merely a fluke.
The Colombians, leaders of Group A coming into the game, sat back and played on the break, and deserved more than the single point that resulted from the 0-0 tie.
Sergio Agüero (Argentina)
In his national team’s first game against Bolivia, Kun was left on the bench to start off the encounter. The 23-year-old replaced Napoli’s Ezequiel Lavezzi, outperforming his countryman and scoring the game-tying goal just moments after coming in.
Inexplicably, and to the disappointment of Argentina supporters clamouring for Kun to start, coach Sergio “Checho” Batista left Lavezzi in his starting XI against Colombia.
The Argentines struggled to create many chances, and Kun wasn’t the spark plug he was against the Bolivians, hardly factoring in the 25 minutes he was on the field in the second half.
Some Atleti supporters will be pleased to know that moments after Agüero stepped onto the pitch, Manchester City’s Carlos Tévez shot the ball directly at Kun’s face, hopefully knocking some sense into the want away youngster.
Without a win in the tournament, and in an embarrassing third place position in the group, the Albiceleste face a do or die match against Costa Rica on Monday.
They will want to take all three points against los Ticos, who upset Bolivia with a 2-0 victory on Thursday, and avoid a shocking early exit.
Luis Perea (Colombia)
Once again, Perea played the full match in the 0-0 tie. The Rojiblanco defender paired up with AC Milan’s Mario Yepes in the back, and the veteran duo kept Argentina’s fierce strike force in check the entire game.
Our Turbo was extraordinary throughout the clash, and was a brick wall against reigning FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
If it weren’t for some very poor finishing by his team-mates up front, Perea’s side would’ve already qualified to the next stage of the competition with a win.
The draw kept Colombia at the top and in the driver’s seat of Group A however, and a win against Bolivia on Sunday will bag los Cafeteros first place in their group. A tie versus the Bolivians will be enough to book Colombia’s ticket to the next round.
For the second time in a row, the Atleti midfielder didn’t play a single minute for Brazil and watched his team-mates tie 2-2 against Paraguay from the bench.
The perennial favourites were very lucky to have scored in the final minutes of the match, as the Paraguayans looked more deserving of a victory.
The Seleção are now in hot water with only two points in Group B. They will have to defeat Ecuador on Wednesday if they want to stave off a humiliating premature elimination.
Diego Forlán and Diego Godín (Uruguay)
In Uruguay’s first match against Peru, a 1-1 tie, Forlán was actively involved in the Celeste’s attack. Cachavacha played all 90 minutes of the Uruguayan’s second Group C encounter, another 1-1 tie this time against Chile.
It seems as if the opening match against Peru left the 32-year-old worn out, as he looked out of gas against the Chileans.
His selection drew first blood in the 53rd minute, but Chile equalised less than 10 minutes later.
“It was a hard-fought battle that went back and forth,” Forlán told reporters afterwards. “It was a shame that we had the advantage but couldn’t hold on to the result.
“At least we got a point from the match, and having not lost was important as it leaves us with the obligation of winning the final game.”
Diego Godín was expected to play against Chile after recovering from his muscle injury, but a sore throat kept the centre-back out.
Uruguay’s fate will be decided on Tuesday against a U-23 Mexican selection. A triumph against Mexico will secure the Celeste’s passage to the quarter-final stage.