Colombia stun Argentina

The Albiceleste suffer a shock defeat, while Venezula also win.

Colombian player Ruben Bustos celebrates his goal in typical fashion [AFP]

Colombia upset Argentina 2-1 after second half goals from Ruben Dario Bustos and Daryo Moreno handed the Albiceleste their first loss of South American World Cup qualifying.

Colombia prevailed after Argentina played the final 55 minutes with 10 men, the result of Carlos Tevez’s expulsion for elbowing Bustos.

Moreno, who replaced Tressor Moreno in the 72nd minute, scored the winner with eight minutes remaining, scoring into an open goal after Argentine keeper Roberto Abbondanzieri strayed off his line.

The goal sent the crowd of 42,000 into a frenzy in Bogota’s El Campin Stadium and celebrations spread around the Colombian capital, with fireworks and drivers blasting car horns.

Argentina had won all three of its opening qualifiers to put it atop the South American qualifying standings and had not conceded a goal.
Colombia struggled to keep possession early, overwhelmed by Argentina’s fluid attack.

Despite playing down a man, Lionel Messi gave Argentina the lead in the 36th, weaving through Colombia’s defense before scoring.

The hosts came into their own in the second half, taking the lead when Bustos converted a free kick in the 62nd.

The goal the match brought the match to life, with both Colombia and Argentina increasing
their intensity to fight for the ball.

Colombia will next face Peru, while Argentina will take on Ecuador.

Venezuelan victory

Venezuelan Giancarlo Maldonado (c) struggles
for the ball with Bolivian Ronald Raldes [AFP]

Meanwhile, Venezuela scored three times in the last 10 minutes to beat Bolivia 5-3, their last two goals coming after an injury to Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Arias.

Arias, barely able to move and with Bolivia already having made their three substitutions, was slow coming off his line as Giancarlo Maldonado headed Venezuela 4-3 ahead in the 89th minute of an extraordinary game.

Arias then went off and was replaced by left back Luis Gutierrez, who was caught off his line by a Maldonado lob in injury time.

The result left Venezuela, who have never played at a World Cup, with six points from four games in the South American group and Bolivia with one.

Bolivia, who failed to score in their first three games in the group, led three times and appeared set for their first away win in a World Cup qualifier for 14 years before coming undone late in the game.

Marcelo Martins put Bolivia ahead for the first time in the 19th minute with an individual goal after Venezuela had lost possession trying to play their way out of defence.

Daniel Arismendi levelled just one minute later after Jorge Rojas’s cross found him at the far post but Bolivia needed only seven minutes to regain the lead when Juan Carlos Arce turned in Joselito Vaca’s low cross at the near post.

Venezuela equalised just before halftime when Juan Arango’s lobbed pass forward inadvertently hit Maldonado on the back of the head and fell perfectly for Arismendi to score.

Martins headed Bolivia back ahead in the 78th minute with his second only for Alejandro Guerra to pull the hosts level again in the 83rd minute.

Bolivia keeper Arias then appeared to pull a muscle in his right leg but opted to continue.

In the 89th minute, Edder Perez chipped the ball forward, Bolivia defender Limberg Mendez hesitated and, as a limping Arias tried to reach it, Maldonado nipped in to head the ball home.

He then finished the job two minutes later with a 30-metre chip over stand-in goalkeeper Gutierrez.

Source : News Agencies

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