Argentina Plays to Scoreless Draw vs. Colombia Without Lionel Messi

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2018

Colombia's foward Luis Fernando Muriel (R) vies for the ball with Argentina's defender German Pezzella during the international friendly match between Colombia and Argentina at MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on September 11, 2018. (Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
DON EMMERT/Getty Images

Colombia and Argentina played to a scoreless draw in a friendly at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Tuesday night. 

The tie ensured both Colombia and Argentina maintained unblemished records during their respective pairs of international exhibitions in September. 

As was the case in Friday's 3-0 win over Guatemala, interim manager Lionel Scaloni rolled out a relatively inexperienced side with Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain all absent: 

Conversely, Colombia's starting XI featured mainstays like Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado up front. 

However, it was Argentina that looked like the crisper, more cohesive side in the early going. Scaloni's attack moved swiftly through the midfield to set up potential goal-scoring opportunities, and it finished the first half with a 5-1 edge in shots on goal. 

That's as good as things would get, though. 

Colombia's defense hunkered down and didn't allow a shot on goal over the final 45 minutes, and Los Cafeteros showed marked improvement dictating pace and controlling possession. 

Argentina, though, remained stout on the back end and—save for a small lapse or two—did not give Colombian forwards the requisite space necessary to generate adequate offensive momentum. 

As a result, Colombia finished the evening with two shots on goal as Argentina allowed a grand total of four over its two friendlies. 

Argentina will reconvene for a friendly against Brazil on Tuesday, Oct. 16, as the two South American powers  continue to prepare for next year's Copa America.

Colombia, meanwhile, is slated to return to the pitch five days earlier for a tilt versus the United States men's national team at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. 

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