Argentines stunned by loss to Colombia

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Buenos Aires, Argentina — Associated Press: Argentines reacted with shock Wednesday after their previously unbeaten Albiceleste allowed two second-half goals and lost 2-1 to Colombia in World Cup qualifying.

“The worst outcome,” read the bold headline in Argentine sports daily Ole, adding “a bad way to end the year.”

Colombia’s victory Tuesday night in Bogota ended Argentina’s three-game winning streak over Chile, Venezuela and Bolivia by a combined score of 7-0.

The loss was particularly unsettling after goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri had not allowed a goal in the three previous matches.

“On the road to South Africa, the stigma of Colombia resurfaces,” said the newspaper La Nacion, which noted Argentina closes out the year with a mark that it hadn’t counted on.

 

Historically, Colombia is considered the “black shadow” for Argentina and its coach, Alfio Basile, who lost to Colombia the last time he coached Argentina in the early ’90s.

With Basile at the helm, Argentina was beaten 2-1 in Barranquilla in August 1993 and then suffered a 5-0 loss in Buenos Aires a month later, both during qualifying for the 1994 World Cup.

On Tuesday night, Argentina played most of the game with 10 men after forward Carlos Tevez was expelled in the 25th minute for striking rival Ruben Bustos in retaliation for an earlier foul that wasn’t punished by the referee.

“They let Colombia off,” said Juan Roman Riquelme, one of the Argentina players who insisted the Colombians should have been cautioned more frequently.

Argentina remained with nine points, one more than Colombia at the top of the South American standings.

Qualifying resumes in June when Argentina plays Ecuador at home and Colombia heads to Peru.

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