Pre-Olympics: Mac Allister & Gaich give Argentina victory over Colombia (VIDEO)

Argentina made a winning start to the pre-Olympic campaign against hosts Colombia on Saturday evening thanks to goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Adolfo Gaich.

A lightning quick start almost saw the Albiceleste lead inside 40 seconds as Esteban Ruiz denied Alexis Mac Allister from close range before Gaich rattled the rebound against the post.

Julián Álvarez would moments later force Ruiz into another stop but it was his River Plate teammate Jorge Carrascal that would break the deadlock with a stunning shot after six minutes.

The lead didn’t last long though. Mac Allister, already showing his class, rifled a free-kick from 30 yards that proved too strong for Ruiz as it skipped past the goalkeeper into the net.

As the game calmed down after the chaotic opening ten minutes, both sides had chances. A deflected Argentina cross came back off the woodwork with Gaich volleying wide the rebound and Facundo Cambeses palmed away a strong Andrés Reyes header at the other end.

As the game settled after a chaotic opening ten minutes, both sides threatened yet it wasn’t until soon after the restart that Argentina reclaimed the advantage. Mac Allister was again at the heart of it, the Boca loanee’s exquisite back-heel went between the legs of Carlos Terán and Gaich was there to calmly slot in the second.

Mac Allister’s eventful evening would be completed three minutes from time when a late challenge saw the Boca loanee shown a second yellow card. Argentina held on for the final stages with ten men but secured victory.

Argentina play Chile next, who were also victorious in their opening game, on Friday knowing that victory would already put them in a strong position to qualify for the final group.

Argentina: Facundo Cambeses; Marcelo Herrera, Nehuén Pérez (captain), Facundo Medina, Claudio Bravo; Fausto Vera, Nicolás Capaldo; Julián Álvarez (Matías Zaracho), Alexis Mac Allister, Agustín Urzi (Tomás Belmonte); Adolfo Gaich (Valentín Castellanos)

Colombia: Esteban Ruiz; Edwin Herrera, Andrés Reyes, Carlos Terán, Gabriel Fuentes; Kevin Balanta (Jaime Alvarado), Eduard Atuesta; Nicolás Benedetti, Jorge Carrascal (Ricardo Márquez), Edwin Cetré; Luis Sandoval (Iván Angulo)