Columbia defeats Argentina in Cup qualifier
Colombia upset the leader of the South American qualifying round for the 2010 World Cup with a 2-1 victory on Tuesday in Bogota over Argentina.
Argentina still tops the table to advance to the World Cup in South Africa with nine points from four games, but Colombia is now second on eight points. Paraguay has seven points from three games while Brazil—also with a game in hand - trails on five points.
Argentina was reduced to 10 men in the 25th minute after striker Carlos Tevez was sent off, presumably for aggression on a rival.
Manchester United’s Tevez did not protest the red card.
However, the side coached by Alfio Basile still pulled ahead in the 36th minute. Lionel Messi scored after dribbling past three rivals before beating the rival keeper.
When it seemed like Argentina once again had everything under control, Colombian coach Luis Pinto introduced substitute Freddy Grisales.
The midfielder was key in the host’s recovery against a visibly tired Argentine side in Bogota’s 2 600m altitude.
Ruben Dario Bustos scored on a free kick in the 62nd minute, and substitute Dairo Moreno sealed the Colombian victory seven minutes before the final whistle with a goal that many Argentine players mistakenly thought had started offside.
South America will send at least four of its 10 teams to the 2010 World Cup with a potential for a fifth entry if that team wins an intercontinental play-off with a representative from the North, Central American and Caribbean region. - Sapa-DPA