Colombia defeats Argentina and is the Group B leader


With goals from Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata, the Cafetero national team won in the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.

Colombia defeated Argentina in the CONMEBOL Copa América after 20 years on Saturday with a 2-0 victory in both teams’ debut at the tournament in Brazil, on the first day of Group B.

The Strikers Roger Martinez on 71 minutes and Duvan Zapata on 86 minutes scored goals by the Cafeteros in a game at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador (northeast) in front of some 60.000 spectators.

The victory represents for the Colombian team, in the beginning of the Carlos Queiroz era in an official tournament, after 20 years without triumphs against the Albiceleste in CONMEBOL Copa America, where it seemed distant that 3-0 in Paraguay-1999.

Argentina, meanwhile, who reached the competition after being finalists in the editions of Chile 2015 and USA 2016, both against Chile, could not beat goalkeeper David Ospina despite having several opportunities to do so.

Carlos Queiroz’s team will meet Qatar next Wednesday in São Paulo, while Messi and mates will face Paraguay in the second round of Group B.


• Colombia defeated Argentina for the third time in the history of the Copa America (4E 7D): 2-1 in 1987, 3-0 in 1999 and 2-0 in 2019.

• Colombia ended a run of eight games without victories against Argentina (4E 4D); its previous triumph was in 2007, 2-1 at home for the World Cup Qualifiers.

• Argentina suffered its greatest defeat in a Copa América debut; it had only lost 2-3 to Uruguay in 1919 and 1-2 to Bolivia in 1979.

• Colombia achieved its fourth victory in all its history against Argentina in a non-friendly match played on neutral ground or as a visitor (6E 12D): 2-1 in 1987 (Copa América), 5-0 in 1993 (Qualifiers), 3-0 in 1999 (Copa América).

• Argentina tried a single shot (Nicolás Otamendi, blocked) and had only one touch of the ball in the rival area (Lionel Messi) in the first half against Colombia.

• Roger Martinez scored the 1-0 win over Argentina in Colombia’s first goal in the match. It was Colombia’s first goal against Argentina since November 2011 (Dorlan Pabón), ending a 565-minute unscored streak against La Albiceleste.

• Lionel Messi played his 22nd match in CONMEBOL Copa América, equaling Javier Zanetti as the second player from Argentina with the highest number (26, Javier Mascherano).

• James Rodriguez assisted the first goal of the victory against Argentina and reached his 25th assist with Colombia, being the maximum assistant of the Cafeteros national team in this century.

• Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero could not complete any pass between them in the first half against Colombia.

• Angel Di Maria, from Argentina, did not avoid any player from Colombia, while he was avoided four times by Colombian players.