Defeat to Ecuador last Wednesday had been a less than ideal start to the final round of the 2019 Sudamericano for Argentina’s under-20s and with World Cup qualification up for grabs, La Albiceleste needed a result against Colombia to get back in contention.
Neither side has particularly impressed in Chile and the one area both have struggled is finding the net so it was little surprise that their meeting on Friday was settled by one goal.
Adolfo Gaich’s physicality up front for Argentina had caused problems at one end and the pace of Rivaldo Correa stretched the defence at the other but having squandered any chances created it was Julián Álvarez who broke the deadlock. Moments before the break, a free-kick out on the left looked more likely to be swung in for a cross by the left-footed Francisco Ortega but Álvarez whipped the ball over the wall and inside the near post of goalkeeper Kevin Mier.
Argentina’s issues in front of goal were laid bare after the break with Gaich wasting a glorious chance and Gonzalo Maroni snatching at another.
However, with Colombia unable to find any way through the Argentine defence marshalled by captain Nehuén Pérez, Fernando Batista’s side held on for a vital three points.
Up next on Wednesday are the dangerous Venezuelan side, who are perhaps favourites to lift the title, and with three games remaining it is all at stake.