Lionel Messi reacts to Argentina's Copa America loss to Colombia

Lionel Messi Argentina Colombia Copa America 2019

Bruna Prado

"It had been a long time (without beating Argentina)", Zapata said.

Argentina's bid to reach a third straight Copa America final began with a 2-0 loss against Colombia - a first defeat to their South American rivals in 12 years.

"We improved in the second half and created chances", said Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni, who complained of the bad field conditions at the Arena Fonte Nova.

Radamel Falcao is drumming support for Lionel Messi, saying the Argentina playmaker is unfairly criticized, but was quick to add it is the prize of "being the best player in the world". "Tomorrow's match will be very important for us".

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Scaloni was part of the staff of then-coach Jorge Sampaoli, who was sacked after the loss to the eventual champions.

"Colombia as a team was the best player on the pitch".

"Argentin is always a very hard opponent and they have the best player in the world". The loss to Colombia revealed numerous mistakes the team endured in Russian Federation, including the lack of efficiency in attack despite the leadership of Lionel Messi.

Messi continued: "We have to take the positive things of today and think about tomorrow".

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Argentina have released a strong starting XI that will tackle Paraguay in their second Group B fixture at the 2019 Copa America. "We can make it".

Argentina - back-to-back runner-up in 2015 and 2016 - was upstaged 2-0 by Colombia in its Copa opener on Saturday. Angel Di Maria got the start and was yanked off after the first 45 minutes, failing to provide much of anything to Argentina's attack.

Aguero had not been in Scaloni's plans before the Copa America but his good season with Manchester City made it almost impossible to leave the striker out of the squad.

Martinez, who turns 25 on June 23, arrived last summer at Club América, where he has registered 14 goals and two assists across 40 appearances in both league and cup play.

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Argentina will next play against Paraguay in Belo Horizonte, while Colombia will face tournament guests Qatar in Sao Paulo.

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