David Ospina did everything he could to keep Argentina off the scoresheet for 90 minutes, but his teammates failed to back him up as Colombia was bounced from the Copa America, falling 5-4 on penalties to La Albiceleste.
Messi & Co. will now face the winner of Brazil vs. Paraguay in the semifinals.
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Argentina absolutely dominated the first half, with chances coming from all directions. Angel di Maria and Lionel Messi continuously cut by the Colombian defense, often taking hacks that went uncalled by the referee.
Despite Argentina’s offensive prowess, official Roberto Garcia Orozco was the most influential man on the pitch in the first half. He seemingly swallowed his whistle on sure fouls, yet was quick to show a yellow card whenever a player looked at him wrong.
Both James Rodriguez and Sergio Aguero received early bookings for dissent, but Orozco stayed silent on two clear penalty calls from Argentina.
With Argentina on the attack, Jose Pekerman decided to make a quick tactical change, taking off Teo Gutierrez in favor of Edwin Cardona in the 24th minute to give Colombia more of a presence in the midfield.
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Even with the change, Argentina should have had the lead if not for a few stellar saves from David Ospina in net. None were better than a ridiculous double-save from the Arsenal keeper, first making a kick save on Aguero before diving across to make an unreal stop on a header from Messi, who had the whole goal in front of him.
Somehow at the end of the first half, no goals had been scored and both sides had eleven men on the pitch.
Argentina continued the onslaught after the break, but again Ospina came up big for Colombia. Not only did the attack continue, but so did the chippy play. There was a skirmish on the sidelines between the two benches, with assistants from both sides being sent off by the official.
Jackson Martinez got Colombia’s first shot on net in the 67th minute, when his header off a corner kick was saved by Sergio Romero.
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Ospina continued his man of the match performance with his best save of the night off of an Argentina corner in the 80th minute. Nicolas Otamendi hit a volley on net as Ospina went full-extension, just getting his fingertips on the shot. The ball hit the inside of the post and rolled across the goal, but was cleared off the line by Juan Zuniga.
In the Copa America, extra-time is only played in the final, so after finishing the match a scoreless draw, the game would be decided in penalties.
After each team converted the first three penalties, Luis Muriel fired his shot over the bar for Colombia. Lucas Biglia had a chance to win it for Argentina, but he missed wide right as the shootout went to sudden death. Sergio Romero made a huge save on Juan Zuniga, but yet again Argentina failed to clinch the win as Marcos Rojo smacked his shot off the crossbar.
Jeison Murillo shanked his shot yards over the goal, making it four straight misses before Carlos Tevez found the back of the net to eliminate Colombia and send Argentina into the semifinals.Follow @KyleLynchFC