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Argentina v Colombia Live Commentary,
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Shots Off Target
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That concludes our commentary of the Copa America semi-final between Argentina and Colombia! We hope you've enjoyed it!
Argentina will play Brazil on Saturday in search of their 15th Copa America title. Colombia will be back in action on September 1, when they play Bolivia in World Cup qualifying.
Argentina make their first Copa America final since 2016 after beating Colombia 3-2 on penalties, following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes. Lautaro Martinez’s opener was cancelled out by Diaz’s goal just after the hour which was followed by an end-to-end final half-hour that saw both sides hit the woodwork. The dramatic penalty shoot-out saw three consecutive misses after both Cuadrado and Messi started their teams off with goals, while goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez goes down as the hero with three blocked spot-kicks, guessing correctly for four out of the five shooters. The Albiceleste advance to Saturday’s showpiece, where they will meet Brazil in the final for the first time since 2007.
EMILIANO MARTINEZ SAVES CARDONA’S PENALTY! The goalkeeper guesses to his left correctly for the third time and makes the diving stop once again, winning the shoot-out for Argentina!
Lautaro Martinez adds to his goal in the first half with a goal in the shoot-out, giving Argentina the advantage. Should Colombia miss their next shot, it’s all over! 3-2 Albiceleste as things stand.
Borja gets Colombia back to scoring as the substitute beats Emiliano Martinez with a hard hit penalty. It’s 2-2.
The streak of three-consecutive misses comes to an end as Paredes buries his penalty, sending it low and hard to the bottom left. It’s 2-1 Argentina.
MINA IS SAVED! The defender looks to go to his right but a diving Emiliano Martinez blocks the shot, getting two hands on the ball to parry it away! It’s still 1-1!
DE PAUL SENDS IT OVER! The Argentina number seven leans back in an attempt to pick out the top corner but misses the target entirely! It remains 1-1.
PENALTY SAVED! Emiliano Martinez guesses the right way and stops Sanchez’s low shot hit to the bottom-right corner. It remains 1-1.
Messi is Argentina’s first shooter and he sends an absolute rocket high into the roof of the net giving Ospina no chance! 1-1.
Cuadrado steps up for the first penalty of the shoot-out and buries his kick into the back of the net - though the goalkeeper guessed correctly.
Argentina have been involved in 15 penalty shoot-outs in their history, winning on nine occasions. Colombia have been involved in nine, winning five times. The two teams have contested spot-kicks against each other twice (1993 and 2015 Copa Americas), with the Albiceleste winning twice.
90 minutes of action isn’t enough to separate the two sides, after Diaz’s brilliant individual goal just after the hour mark cancelled out Lautaro Martinez’s seventh-minute opener. Colombia looked the more dangerous of the two sides following the restart, though the Albiceleste had chances they were unable to capitalise on. With no extra-time in this edition of the Copa America, we are headed to penalties!
90' + 4'
END OF REGULATION: ARGENTINA 1-1 COLOMBIA.
90' + 3'
The fourth official indicates four minutes will be added for stoppages.
90' + 1'
Colombia are off on a counter-attack following Messi’s set-piece, but Diaz is bodychecked in midfield at full-pelt by a backtracking Pezzella. It’s a yellow card for the defender.
Messi looks to curl the free-kick but again he can only manage to send it into the wall.
Barrios upends Messi on the forward's drive towards Colombia's penalty area. It's the third yellow card issued by the referee in as many minutes. The set-piece is in shooting range, with the Argentina captain standing over it intently.
Rodriguez puts a strong challenge in on Borja right in front of the referee and gets shown a yellow card.
Cardona's lunging tackle in midfield catches Paredes, earning the Colombia midfielder a yellow card.
With under 10 minutes remaining, it looks like both sides want a result in 90 minutes. With the removal of extra-time in this edition of the Copa America, penalties are looming unless one nation can snatch a victory at the death.
OFF THE POST! Di Maria’s fancy footwork on the edge of the box opens up some space, allowing an incisive pass to find Messi. The captain turns and fires a shot that goes behind the goalkeeper but off the post and out!
Messi has scored three goals in 10 career matches against Colombia.
Messi takes an outswinging corner which is turned behind at the near post by Mina - giving Argentina another try.
Messi steps up and strikes the free-kick but sends it into the wall. The ball bounces back to Paredes who has a whack at it, sending the ball narrowly wide!
Munoz brings Messi down from behind just outside the penalty area and gets booked for the infringement.
INCREDIBLE SCENES! HOW IS THIS STILL LEVEL?! Di Maria goes charging through an empty midfield and bears down on goal, sidestepping the onrushing Ospina in the process 30 yards from goal as the keeper was caught in no man’s land. He manages to get past the Napoli goalie and square a pass to Lautaro Martinez, who inexplicably doesn’t shoot first-time, allowing Mina to get a crucial block on the line!
Montiel is booked for an awkward challenge that catches Diaz’s back leg and sends him crashing to the ground.
Cuadrado’s again involved as he skips away from Tagliafico and puts a cross to the far post for Borja but Emiliano Martinez is quick off his line to make the catch.
Cuadrado takes a free-kick from the right wing deep in midfield but manages to find a team-mate on the edge of the penalty area as Sanchez manages to put an effort on-target which is easily saved by the goalkeeper.
Á. Di María
Scaloni goes with a bit of experience with 23 minutes remaining, as Di Maria is brought on in place of Gonzalez.
The goal conceded is just the third Argentina have conceded in the tournament, with all three coming in the second half of matches.
Borja is booked for a mistimed challenge on Gonzalez.
The assist is clever from Cardona, who recognised the situation and took the set-piece quickly, catching Argentina off-guard.
UNBELIEVABLE GOAL! COLOMBIA EQUALISE! A quick free-kick hit down the pitch catches Argentina napping, as Diaz latches onto the end of it, barrels into the penalty area ahead of Pezzella and manages to squeeze the ball into the far post with an off-balance shot hit from the byline! It’s an absolutely incredible finish from the Porto winger! 1-1!
Borja makes an immediate impression, latching onto the ball well outside the penalty area and hammering a shot that goes well wide.
Zapata's match comes to an end and Borja is brought on to replace him with 30 minutes left.
Argentina are holding it in midfield, moving Colombia from left to right as they look to weather the storm and fashion a chance of their own. Despite starting off as the better side, the majority of chances in the match have fallen the to the Cafeteros.
Messi takes the free-kick himself but he puts far too much power in the cross, sending it behind for a goal-kick.
G. Lo Celso
During the stoppage in play Argentina take a moment to make a substitution, replacing Lo Celso with Paredes.
Messi’s taken down for the third time in six minutes as Munoz catches the forward’s leg right in front of the referee during a driving run forward. Argentina have a free-kick deep in midfield.
Fabra again catches Messi, this time fully intentional as the Colombia substitute looks to prevent a counter-attack but lunging in on the Argentina captain. It’s a yellow card.
The changes made by Rueda has dropped Cuadrado into right-back, allowing Chara to play in front of him. The substitute will look to cut inside and play narrow, while the Juventus full-back will run beyond and stretch the attack.
Play is stopped for Messi, who goes down under the weight of a challenge by Fabra. The substitute catches the Argentina captain with his studs unintentionally during an attempt to shield the ball. It certainly wasn’t on purpose but it is a painful one. Much to Lionel Scaloni’s relief though, Messi looks able to continue after receiving treatment.
Diaz picks up the loose ball on the edge of the penalty area after Chara’s cross was repelled and fires a shot towards goal, forcing a good diving stop from Emiliano Martinez.
Colombia get the match restarted from the kick-off!
Argentina counter with a swap of their own as Montiel is in for Molina.
A change at left-back sees Tesillo withdrawn and Fabra sent on in his place.
Cuellar makes way for Chara as Rueda looks to change things up with 45 minutes to go.
Cardona is sent on to replace Borre at half-time.
Colombia will have to continue to open up and attack if they want to get back into the match, which goes against Reinaldo Rueda’s tendencies. Cuadrado must be the man to pull the strings, while the introduction of Atalanta’s Muriel seems more a question of when than if. For Argentina, they’ll have to decide whether to push for a second or hold what they have; with the Albiceleste already winning 1-0 twice in this tournament.
Lautaro Martinez’s strike after just seven minutes remains the only difference between the two sides as we enter the half-time interval. The early goal definitely settled Argentina’s nerves, allowing them to pass it around with more confidence despite Colombia’s intent press. The Cafeteros didn’t start the match well but grew into it as time wore on, with both Barrios and Mina quandering great opportunities to get their side back level - both hitting the woodwork.
45' + 5'
HALF-TIME: ARGENTINA 1-0 COLOMBIA.
45' + 4'
Cuadrado is shown a yellow card for a sliding challenge that catches Tagliafico on the left leg.
45' + 2'
Messi swings a corner into the near post but Zapata is back to do his defensive work, getting to the delivery first and winning a free-kick.
45' + 1'
The fourth official has indicated four minutes will be added for stoppages.
WHAT AN UNBELIEVABLE SAVE! Messi sends a corner to the edge of the six-yard box for Gonzalez, who manages to get a clean header to the delivery. The striker thought he had scored but the goalkeeper had other plans, stooping low to palm it up above his crossbar.
With under five minutes remaining in the first half, it looks likely that Argentina will take their lead into the half-time break, though Colombia have looked good in the last 10 minutes. It looks as though the Albiceleste could use the break just to settle their nerves and disrupt their opponents’ momentum.
Messi needs just one goal to go level with Pele’s tally of 77 strikes for his country; a record for a South American nation.
ANOTHER CHANCE! Cuadrado’s corner finds Mina, who rises high to make great contact with the ball with his head but the Everton defender can only put his effort off the crossbar and behind for a goal-kick!
OFF THE BASE OF THE POST! A cross into the penalty area looking for Borre is cleared to the edge of the penalty area by Otamendi. Barrios gets on the end of the loose ball and hammers a volley through a crowd of bodies, which clips off the woodwork on it’s way out!
Messi shows off his skills once again going on a slaloming run - holding off both Mina and Barrios before working a pass to Lautaro Martinez which allows the Argentina attack to continue.
Cuadrado’s corner is taken deep for Mina, who mistimes his jump and fails to make contact with the delivery, allowing Argentina to win a throw-in on the far side.
Rodriguez wins possession high up the pitch and puts a pass to the edge of the penalty area for Lautaro Martinez, but the striker’s first touch is a poor one as the ball gets away from him allowing Tesillo to get it away.
Cuadrado steps up to hit the set-piece and gets his curling effort up and over the wall, though it misses the target by a considerable distance.
The referee awards Colombia a free-kick 25 yards from goal following a Lo Celso handball in the aftermath of the headed clearance.
Cuadrado fires Colombia’s first corner of the match into the penalty area looking for Zapata - but Rodriguez gets the initial headed clearance.
Cuadrado gets another chance to work on his delivery from a second free-kick in midfield, this time on the left. It’s a much better take from the winger, but the Argentina defence is able to deal with it without too much trouble.
Cuadrado takes the centrally placed free-kick and looks to send it into the penalty area, but it fails to beat the first line of defence as Gonzalez heads it away.
G. Lo Celso
Lo Celso dives into a lunging challenge from behind and takes Barrios out. It’s a yellow card for the Argentina midfielder.
Mina looks to start an attack from the back but his launched pass travels too far for Diaz, allowing Molina to win back possession deep in his own half.
Argentina are looking firmly in control, winning possession back comfortably after overloading Cuadrado and forcing a misplaced pass from the Juventus winger. The early goal has certainly settled Albiceleste nerves, though Colombia will continue to press forward at every opportunity.
Mina elbows Lautaro Martinez and gives away a free-kick in midfield after the striker looked to have the beating of the centre-back.
It’s Colombia’s turn to press high, looking to target Argentina’s right-back as they look to win the ball. It’s coolly done from Molina, who manages to shift his weight and fire a pass out to the left for Tagliafico which relieves the pressure.
Play is stopped momentarily after Zapata clatters into Emiliano Martinez during an attempt to get onto the loose ball. It seems the Colombia forward has come off worse, though they’ll both be able to continue.
WHAT A SAVE FROM EMILIANO MARTINEZ! The Argentina keeper is called into action immediately after the restart as a low cross from the left finds Cuadrado, who smashes a shot from close range - managing only to hit the goalkeeper in the chest!
Messi's assist for Argentina's opener has set a tournament record - as nobody has ever managed more than four in a tournament.
LAUTARO MARTINEZ PUTS ARGENTINA AHEAD! Messi gets onto the ball inside the penalty area with his back to goal, before picking his head up and cutting a pass back to Lautaro Martinez, who strikes it at the first time of asking and finds the back of the net! 1-0!
Cuadrado whips a dangerous cross to the far post looking for Zapata, but some clever defending prevents the Atalanta striker from reaching the delivery.
CLOSE! Messi takes on and beats three defenders on his way into the Colombia penalty area, dropping his shoulder and squeezing past Mina and Munoz before chipping a cross into the centre of the area for Lautaro Martinez, whose header just misses the inside of the far post!
Argentina are pressing the ball very high on defence, looking for Colombia to turn it over in advantageous positions. Mina resorts to lumping it downfield, allowing Emiliano Martinez to start an attack.
Argentina get the match underway from the kick-off!
Colombia switch from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-2 and make one change in personnel after their penalty shoot-out victory over Uruguay, as Cuadrado returns to the line-up, displacing Muriel.
Argentina make two changes from their 3-0 win over Ecuador in the quarter-finals, with Acuna dropped for Tagliafico at left-back and Rodriguez in for Paredes in midfield.
COLOMBIA SUBS: Aldair Quintana, Camilo Vargas, Yimmi Chara, Frank Fabra, Sebastian Perez, Oscar Murillo, John Medina, Edwin Cardona, Luis Muriel, Miguel Borja, Baldomero Perlaza, Carlos Cuesta.
COLOMBIA XI (4-4-2): David Ospina; Daniel Munoz, Yerry Mina, Davinson Sanchez, William Tesillo; Juan Cuadrado, Wilmer Barrios, Gutavo Cuellar, Luis Diaz; Rafael Borre, Duvan Zapata.
ARGENTINA SUBS: Juan Musso, Lucas Martinez Quarta, Lisandro Martinez, Franco Armani, Alejandro Gomez, Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes, Exequiel Palacios, Sergio Aguero, Angel Correa, Marcos Acuna, Gonzalo Montiel.
ARGENTINA XI (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Nahuel Molina, German Pezzella, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicolas Tagliafico; Rodrigo De Paul, Guido Rodriguez, Giovani Lo Celso; Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Nicolas Gonzalez.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let's take a look at how the two sides are lining up - starting with Argentina!
Colombia qualified third from their group behind Brazil and Peru but managed to get through the quarters thanks to a win on penalties against Uruguay after the match finished 0-0. The Cafeteros are undefeated against Argentina in their last three matches - including beating them in the 2019 Copa America; a streak that dates back to 2018. It’s been 20 years since Colombia have made it to the finals of the tournament, when a 1-0 win over Mexico earned them their first title.
Brazil await the winner of tonight’s contest after a cagey 1-0 victory over Peru guaranteed the hosts passage into the final. Argentina are looking to make it 19 matches on the bounce without defeat, which they can do should they manage to get past Colombia. The Albiceleste finished first in their group ahead of Uruguay, before a 3-0 victory over Ecuador put them in position to reach their third showpiece in the last four competitions.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the Copa America semi-final between Argentina and Colombia!