The opening match of Copa America 2011 didn’t produce the result which everyone was expecting. Argentina were tagged favorites to win this year’s tournament. They had their home fans behind them and were facing the least fancied team of the competition Bolivia, but still they failed to produce the expected result. Argentina eventually settled for a 1-1 draw with the Bolivians in their opening match, after trailing for a certain period of the game.
The first half was a cagey affair, despite Argentina having most of the possession of the ball but they failed to create any clear cut opportunities. The game opened up dramatically in the 2nd half when Bolivia scored their goal only 2 minutes into the 2nd half. Bolivian no 7 Edvaldo Rojas Hermoza, received a corner from Jhasmani Campos and swiftly back heeled it towards the Argentinean goal on 47th minute. Confusion between goalie Sergio Romero and midfielder Ever Banega led to the goal. Bolivians who lie 97th in the FIFA World Rankings, leading against the tournament favorites was a shocking site for the supporters present at Ciudad de La Plata.
Argentina pushed in search for an equalizer and Coach Sergio Batista made some changes by bringing in Angel Di Maria. Lavezzi and Di Maria provided Argentina the much needed width in their play. Messi was instructed to do the play making duties in the attacking midfield position with Tevez sitting at the top. The tactical change started to work for Argentina as they took charge of the game but there was still no end product. Batista made another attacking change by bringing on Sergio Aguero in place of Lavezzi. Aguero’s introduction was electrifying as he immediately got into the thick of things and eventually scored the equalizer from a quickly taken Messi free kick on 75th minute. The goal sparked a new life into the Argentineans and they went in search for the winning goal. Aguero troubled the Bolivian defense number of times but Bolivians were able to hold on.
Argentina will play Columbia next and this won’t be a easy match at all. They must look to beat Columbia in order to cement their position in group A. On the other hand Bolivia will play Costa Rica in the other Group A match on Thursday. If Argentineans don’t improve their game in the upcoming matches, then the so called favorites will be out of the competition in the group stages.