Colombia Vs. Argentina, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Nervy Argentina Earn 2-1 Win

Alejandro Sabella got his lineup horribly wrong against Colombia and Argentina nearly paid the price for his folloy after going down 1-0 in a miserable first half that was mostly characterised by the insanely negative play of the visitors' three defensive midfielders. Fortunately for Argentina, the mistake was rectified with the introduction of Sergio Aguero after the break, and the substitute would go on to earn the winner in what ended up being a deserved 2-1 victory.

For much of the match, it looked as though we were set for a scoreless draw. Argentina had Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain up front, but their link player between the two superstar forwards and their incredibly stodgy midfield was Jose Soa, who is terrible. Needless to say, that didn't go very well. Meanwhile, Colombia were having trouble breaking through the mass of defensively-minded players in the centre, and didn't much look like scoring either.

Then Dorlan Pabon struck with a free kick from the edge of the box which was driven low and deflected past Sergio Romero for the game's opening goal. It was 1-0 Colombia, and Sabella hit the panic button. Fortunately, his bench probably had more talent on it than his non-Messi starting lineup - the coach could draw from Aguero, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Fernando Gago, Nicolas Gaitan and Javier Pastore, and the former was deployed in place of Pablo Guinazu, one of the aforementioned defensive trio.

Aguero's introduction made a big difference. Argentina started to look like a good team, and within fifteen minutes Messi had drawn them level after good work between him and Aguero on the left and then an error by Daniel Ospina to allow the Barcelona star a tap-in. Despite being pegged back, Colombia were still very much in the game and they should have reestablished their lead after Juan Zuniga skipped through the entire Argentina defence only to blast straight at Romero from six yards.

The final twist in the tale, however, favoured the visitors, and when Ospina couldn't handle Higuain's 81st minute shot, the ball fell to Aguero to slip home and give Argentina the lead. There was still time for Messi to miss a one on one and then an open goal (the latter from an impossibly tight angle) and for Aguero to be hit in the face by a plastic bottle thrown fromt he stands, but when the dust cleared it was Argentina who walked away with an important win.

Hopefully Sabella learned something from what happened to the team he initially put out there.

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