Clinical Colombia sees off Argentina for winning start in Copa America
JUAN MABROMATA / AFP / Getty

New tournament, same old problems for Argentina.

Colombia punished the garbled Albiceleste on Saturday with two second-half goals through Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata.

Lionel Messi and his attacking colleagues were unable to fashion any meaningful chances against Carlos Queiroz's resolute ensemble. Messi's closest look at goal was with a header he sent wide in the 66th minute.

It's likely most spectators will pretend the first half never happened.

Thankfully, there was more promising play after the break. Angel Di Maria was anonymous in attack, so Udinese's Rodrigo De Paul trotted out for the beginning of the second period. Then, seconds after the restart, Leandro Paredes flashed a shot from distance that went narrowly wide of David Ospina's goal.

Argentina suddenly had greater cohesion, pushing the ball along its lines and trying to pick at the seams of Colombia's stubborn defense. But Los Cafeteros stood firm, had bite in their midfield, and, through substitute Martinez, an element of surprise in attack.

The forward, who plays for Club America, presented an early case for goal of the tournament. With 71 minutes on the clock, Martinez ran onto a pinpoint cross-field ball from James Rodriguez, skipped inside Renzo Saravia, and smashed an effort from the edge of the area and into the far corner of the onion bag.

The match was effectively over when Zapata jabbed in Jefferson Lerma's cross from close range after 86 minutes.

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Clinical Colombia sees off Argentina for winning start in Copa America
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