El Monumental, Buenos Aires by Jimmy Baikovicius / Flickr
Argentina 0-0 Colombia
7 June 2013
World Cup Qualifier
El Monumental, Buenos Aires
Argentina and Colombia played out an interesting 0-0 draw that aided both sides’ World Cup qualification hopes but didn’t change the ownership of the UFWC title. Argentina started without the half-fit Lionel Messi, and lost Gonzalo Higuian to a red card early in the game. But Colombia’s Radamel Falcao had a poor game, and Christian Zapata was also sent off after a 26th minute clash with Higuain. And while Colombia pushed Argentina hard for at least 60 minutes, the Cafeteros eventually settled for a draw, leaving the Albiceleste as Unofficial Football World Champions.
Higuain and Falcao both missed chances in the opening exchanges, before the sending off incident changed the game. Higuain followed through hard on Colombia’s David Ospina, and a furious Zapata retaliated on his goalkeeper’s behalf by kicking Higuain. Zapata was shown a straight red card, and then Higuain was sent off for his over zealous challenge. The Milan and Real Madrid men left the field with more than an hour left to play.
Both sides became less adventurous following the dismissals. Colombia continued to press into the second half, but the introduction of Messi for Argentina with 30 minutes remaining gave the home side a boost – despite the fact that the Barcelona star was clearly struggling for fitness. After that, Colombia looked happy to settle for a draw.
The result leaves Argentina five points clear at the top of the World Cup qualifying group, ahead of Colombia and Ecuador – Argentina’s next opponent.
The next UFWC title match comes around very quickly – this Tuesday 11 June. It’s another World Cup Qualifier. This time, Argentina travel to Quito to take on high-flying Ecuador. Kick off at the Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa is 16:00 local time (22:00 BST).