By Sports Network — The Sports Network
Argentina suffered its first loss in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday as they were knocked off 2-1 by Colombia.
Argentina’s Carlos Tevez was sent off just 25 minutes into the game, but the club still took a 1-0 lead before halftime through a Lionel Messi goal. However, the Argentines tired in the second half and Colombia took advantage, getting a goal from Ruben Dario Bustos in the 63rd minute and the match-winner seven minutes from time through Dayro Mauricio Moreno to move into second place in the standings, just one point behind Argentina.
The game started slowly with neither side getting much done in the opening 20 minutes. Things changed completely in the 25th minute, however, as Tevez was hit with a red card for kicking Bustos away from the play.
It was a terrible mistake by the Manchester United striker, but his team rallied at the end of the half and took the lead. Juan Roman Riquelme’s free kick from the left found Messi inside the box, and the Barcelona star got behind three defenders and placed his shot inside the far post, beating keeper Agustin Julio.
Argentina was getting the better of the play despite its numerical disadvantage, and they nearly added to that lead before the break as both Hugo Ibarra and Riquelme had good chances that missed the target.
Messi narrowly missed scoring his second goal of the match shortly after the restart, but the home side slowly began to take control of the match as Argentina’s legs began to get heavy.
Colombia won a free kick on the left, just outside the Argentina box, and Bustos took advantage of the chance and lofted his kick over the wall and inside the near post, leveling the match at 1-1.
The home side was clearly on the attack now, and they secured all three points in the 83rd minute when Macnelly Torres carried the ball past a pair of defenders and found Moreno, who slid the ball to Wason Renteria. He took a shot towards goal but Moreno redirected it into the back of the net just to make sure