Copa America: Argentina advances to quarterfinals

Updated: 04 July 2007 16:30 IST

With two goals by Juan Roman Riquelme out of retirement, Argentina qualified for the Copa America quarterfinals thumping Colombia 4-2 on Monday.

Copa America: Argentina advances to quarterfinals

Maracaibo:

With two goals by Juan Roman Riquelme out of retirement, Argentina qualified for the Copa America quarterfinals thumping Colombia 4-2 on Monday.

After penalty goals by both sides, Riquelme scored the go-ahead goals in the 33rd and 45th minutes to guarantee the Albiceleste a spot in the quarterfinals along with fellow Group C side Paraguay, and Mexico.

Striker Hernan Crespo left the match limping on his right leg after converting a penalty in the 20th in reply to Edixon Perea's penalty for Colombia after 10 minutes.

The first of Riquelme's pair came off a centering shot from Javier Zanetti. Then, 12 minutes later, the midfielder curved a free kick over the Colombian wall and to the right corner of the net past a diving Miguel Calero.

Castrillon cut lead

Colombia's Jaime Castrillon cut the lead to one when he headed a Fabian Vargas corner kick that goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri tried to punch out but deflected into the net at the 73rd.

Diego Milito scored Argentina's fourth goal in injury time.

Riquelme retired from international play after the 2006 World Cup, saying criticism of his lackluster performance was affecting his mother's health. At coach Alfo Basile's urging he rejoined a star-studded Argentina for the Copa America after leading Boca Juniors last month to its sixth Copa Libertadores championship.

Argentina came to Venezuela seeking to win its 15th title and break free from a tie with Uruguay for the most tournament titles. In its first match, it easily defeated a second-string U.S. 4-1.

The defeat puts Colombia on the verge of elimination with one match remaining against the United States.

The winner of that matchup on Thursday in Barquisimeto between the winless teams could still be in contention for a quarterfinal berth reserved for the two best third-place teams, depending on other group results.

Argentina and Paraguay, each with eight goals through two matches, face each other in the other match to determine who finishes atop Group C.



Topics : Football
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