Argentina travelled to Estadio Metropolitano for the World Cup Qualifiers clash against Colombia. The Lionel Messi led unit are unbeaten in their qualifying campaign so far, winning three and drawing two of their five games and come into this game having drawn 1-1 with Chile last time out.
Argentina led Colombia 2-0 after eight minutes.
They drew 2-2 after Colombia equalized in the 94th minute pic.twitter.com/8YM4UPOedV
— cricketsoccer (@cricketsoccer) June 9, 2021
They faced a Colombian unit that has won just two of their five qualifiers so far.
They bounced back from a heavy 6-1 defeat against Ecuador with a 3-0 win over Peru in their last match.
Colombia have won just one of their last five games against Argentina in all competitions, though that was in their last meeting when they won 2-0 in the Copa America in June 2019.
Obviously, Argentina were the favourites to win and their start was encouraging until the home side raised their game to stun Messi and co.
Lionel Scaloni makes five changes to his team after their draw with Chile. Montiel, Otamendi, Acuna, Gonzalez and Lo Celso are all brought in. Foyth, Tagliafico and Di Maria drop to the bench, where Aguero is also named after joining up with the squad.
Reinado Rueda makes just one change to the side that beat Peru last time out, with Lerma coming in for Muriel, who drops to the bench. Daniel Munoz misses out through suspension after being sent off in that game.
Argentina were awarded a free-kick early in the match and it was Rodrigo De Paul with the cross into the penalty area. The ball found Cristian Romero and his header beat Ospina to give Argentina the 1-0 lead.
Here is the header goal by Cristian Romero. In only his second cap, he opens the score. What a player this guy is!! Argentina found an absolute diamond on the backline.
— Barca Footba11 Talk (@BarcaFootba11) June 8, 2021
Leandro Paredes would double that lead just minutes later. Paredes would dribble past several Colombia players inside the penalty area and his shot would make it 2-0 with both goals coming in the first 8 minutes of the match.
With Argentina leading 2-0, they would start to move the ball around and nearly got a third.
Gio Lo Celso started a counterattack as his pass found Lautaro Martinez. The Inter man would have his shot saved and it would fall to Nicolas Gonzalez but his shot would hit the side netting.
What's goal by Leandro Paredes, 2-0 Argentina on cruise control. This Arabic commentator is one of the best, I don't understand a word but his emotions ?pic.twitter.com/LOZXw3cV7Y
— LFC Views (@Mobyhaque1) June 8, 2021
A very dangerous play would result in an injury to Emiliano Martinez. Colombia crossed into the penalty area and Emiliano Martinez grabbed it but contact by Mina meant the goalkeeper would fall, slamming his head onto the pitch. He would stay down for well over 5 minutes before being stretchered off and replaced by Agustin Marchesin.
With the score at 2-0, it was a Colombia counter-attack but a tackle by Cristian Romero as he would get a yellow card. It was Romero’s second yellow of the World Cup qualifiers meaning he would miss Argentina’s next qualifying match vs. Venezuela in September.
The Argentine tempo started to slow down since that injury of Martinez.
Argentina struggled to contain Colombia’s Juan Cuadrado as the hosts started to create more opportunities, with Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata both missing chances.
But they did get on the board five minutes into the second half after Argentine defender Nicolas Otamendi used an arm to flatten Mateus Uribe and Muriel converted the penalty.
⚽️ GOAL!! Ice cool from the penalty spot from Luis Muriel as @FCFSeleccionCol pulls one back. Game on!!
? Watch NOW LIVE on beIN 1 via @kayosports, @Foxtel & Fetch! https://t.co/yGwtH39nlM | #WCQ #CONMEBOL pic.twitter.com/zA6aVH6RDM
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_AUS) June 9, 2021
Argentina too had chances but found Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina in inspired form, twice making great saves to thwart Lionel Messi.
Just when it looked like Argentina would hold on, substitute Miguel Borja grabbed a deserved equaliser when his header squirmed under the body of replacement goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin deep into stoppage time.
Miguel Borja snatches a draw for Colombia at the death! For a second straight World Cup qualifier, Argentina blows a lead, this time in the final moments
(via @MovistarDeporPe) pic.twitter.com/pSykxhFPMq
— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) June 9, 2021
“I think we had the chances,” said Argentine midfielder Rodrigo De Paul.
“They have a great goalkeeper. We’re not happy with a draw.”
“Unfortunately, we leave with one point when we deserved all three,” said Scaloni.
The result leaves Argentina in second place behind Brazil in the 10-team South American qualifying group. The top four teams qualify automatically for Qatar 2022 and the fifth-placed side go into an intercontinental playoff.