A score by striker Juanda Fuentes, from FC Barcelona, gave Colombia a 1-0 victory over Argentina on Friday in the last day of Group A of the South American Sub’20, a result with which the coffee growers qualified for the hexagonal and the Albiceleste got eliminated.
At the Pascual Guerrero stadium in Cali, Javier Mascherano’s team failed and the host team gave him the final blow with a goal from Fuentes, who had goalkeeper Franco Herrera as an accomplice.
With this result, the locals finished in second place in Group B with 8 points, two less than Brazil, which had 10 points, and one more than Paraguay, which finished with 7. Argentina was fourth with three, while Peru was last without points.
In the opening stage, Colombia seized the initiative in the opening minutes under the leadership of midfielder Daniel Luna, but Argentina snatched the ball from the hosts and tried to get closer to Luis Marquinez’s goal.
Mascherano’s team, driven by necessity, did not find much depth but relied heavily on sparks from Newell’s Old Boys winger Brian Aguirre and Real Madrid Castilla midfielder Nico Paz.
In one of those the clearest of the Albiceleste came, as Aguirre sent a cross pass to Axel Encinas and the winger took a shot that went over the horizontal.
Colombia, meanwhile, suffered a blow in the game when Luna, who was the player who gave clarity to the team, was injured at minute 35 after receiving several strong fouls from his rivals.
In the second half, the coffee team was the first to approach in a counterattack led by Alexis Castillo Manyoma that enabled Fuentes, who took a very strong left-footed shot that Herrera saved.
However, the hosts withdrew and began to play very close to the goal of Marquinez.
That was how the Albiceleste approached the goal with shots from players like Paz that were saved, without much trouble, by the local goalkeeper.
In the 74th minute, when Argentina had already lost some of its momentum and the game had fallen into a rut, Fuentes scored.
The Barcelona striker received a pass from Castillo Manyoma on the edge of the box, turned and pulled an unpromising shot into the back of the net because goalkeeper Herrera couldn’t catch it and it went between his legs.
The annotation was lapidary. Mascherano’s team ended up losing momentum and in the end time passed, Colombia held on and the hosts will be in the final hexagonal with Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay waiting for Chile, Venezuela and Ecuador to define the last two classified on Saturday. EFE