Super-subs Roger Martínez and Duvan Zapata scored the goals that gave Colombia the perfect start to their Copa América campaign, with a 2-0 win over Argentina. It was a bitterly disappointing performance from Lionel Scalonis side who will need to bounce back quickly against Paraguay to keep their aspirations of making it out of Group B alive.
Meanwhile in Group A, Peru had two goals disallowed by VAR as they drew 0-0 against ten-man Venezuela. It was Venezuelan goalkeeper Wuilker Fariñez who was the hero late on, as his incredible goal-line save denied Edison Flores and ensured a share of the spoils.
Venezuela 0-0 Peru
Christofer Gonzáles thought that hed given Peru an early lead in the seventh minute when he converted from twelve yards. However, VAR intervened and the goal was chalked off as three Peru players were offside as the initial free-kick came in.
In a disjointed first half, opportunities were at a premium. Veteran forward Jefferson Farfán had Perus best chance, but he scuffed his shot horribly wide when through on goal. Venezuela then had their first opening when a cross from the left found Newcastle favourite Salomon Rondón, but his close-range effort was smartly saved.
Venezuela were the better team after the restart, with Rondón going close with a low free-kick before Jefferson Savarino blazed an effort over the bar.
Peru thought theyd snatched the lead a few moments later when Farfán headed home, but for a second time they were denied by VAR.
With fifteen minutes remaining Venezuela were reduced to ten men. Left back Luis Mago was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Andy Polo. Seconds later Peru went on the offensive and somehow failed to put the ball in the net.
Farfáns effort was poked goalwards by Flores but the ball was brilliantly kept out by Fariñez, who made a follow up save in the resulting scramble before Peru hit the post.
With both teams harbouring ambitions of following Brazil to the knockout stages its a result that helps either of little.
Argentina 0-2 Colombia
In a drab first half, Colombia had to make an early change when striker Luis Muriel picked up an injury. His replacement Roger Martínez had the first real chance of the game, but his effort was blocked by the Argentine defence.
After the break, Argentina came out with more intent as Lionel Messi grew into the game.
The talisman linked up well with Sergio Agüero on occasion but was always stifled by a resilant Colombia defence.
After soaking up plenty of pressure, Colombia took the lead against the run of play with fewer than 20 minutes remaining. Real Madrid misfit James Rodriguez played a sublime pass to Martínez who cut inside from the left and smashed the ball home from the edge of the box. It was a goal that finally lit up a game in need of excitement.
Falling behind killed Argentinas momentum and five minutes from time Colombia put the game to bed. Martínez released Bournemouths Jefferson Lerma down the left and his driving ball into the box was fired into the roof of the net by Atalanta sensation Duvan Zapata.
It was the perfect start for Colombia who will now feel confident of building on this result and topping the group. Argentina, still unable to find a way to make their superstars click, must now immediately turn their attention to the high-pressure match against Paraguay.