Host nation Argentine look to bounce back from shock draw in opening game. The hosts will aim to perform well in front of their home crowd as they take on Colombia in the second round of games of Group A after earning just a point against Bolivia. Argentina are level with Uruguay for most Copa America titles with 14. In the 42 Copa America’s held prior to the 2011 edition, Argentina have appeared in the final 26 times.
Sergio Batista has opted for one change from the opening game of the tournament, but it is not Javier Pastore or Sergio Aguero. Pablo Zabaleta will start instead of Marcos Rojo in defence as the rest of the line-up remains the same from the 1-1 draw against Bolivia. Many wondered ifEzequiel Lavezzi would be relegated to the bench after a poor showing in the opening game, but the Napoli star will get another chance to prove his worth.
Striker Diego Milito and defender Gabriel Milito (right) are brothers. They both played together with Spanish club Real Zaragoza from 2005-07. However, they also battled each other in one of the world’s fiercest rivalries. In the Avellaneda derby, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Diego played for Racing while Gabriel played for Independiente. Messi was born in Rosario, Argentina. It is the largest city in the province of Santa Fe, where the match will take place.
Colombia have won one Copa America title. The victory game in 2001 when they hosted the tournament, taking down Mexico 1-0 in the final with a goal by defender Ivan Cordoba.
Hernan Gomez only makes once change in the line-up, with Carlos Sanchez set to start in midfield in the place of Gustavo Bolivar. Hugo Rodallega will again be on the bench.
The national side finished one point behind Uruguay for fifth place in South America’s World Cup Qualifying for South Africa 2010. Colombia also finished one point behind Uruguay in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup. Fifth place in South America results in a two-leg play-off for a spot in the tournament.Three players in Colombia’s squad play for Italian club Udinese. Cristian Zapata, Pablo Armero and Juan Cuadrado all play club football for 2011-12 Champions League participants. Falcao has scored 73 goals in 85 games in his two seasons with Porto, averaging nearly a goal per game. But, for Colombia, the star striker averages a strike every four games, scoring seven times in 28 appearances. Mario Yepes, the AC Milan defender who has 77 caps and over 10 years of experience in the national team, still has a long way to go to catch the cap leader, Carlos Valderrama. The magical midfielder has 111 caps.
Squads for Both Teams:
Romero; Zanetti, Milito, Burdisso, Zabaleta; Cambiasso, Mascherano, Banega; Lavezzi, Tevez, Messi.
Martinez; Zuniga, Yepes, Perea, Armero; Sanchez; D. Moreno, Guarin, Aguilar, Ramos; Falcao.
The Argentine attack will come alive against a tough Colombian defence in the second round of games of Group A. The host nation escape with a 2-1 win as Sergio Batista shows his confidence in Ezequiel Lavezzi and Carlos Tevez, leaving them in the line-up after showing little against Bolivia.