Argentina and Colombia needed a shootout to decide who would go on the Copa America semifinals — a shootout that, for a time, seemed like an elaborate prank being perpetrated by the players.
It started off well enough with everyone putting on a brilliant display of perfect spot kicks (even Falcao!). But then it got sloppy.
Colombia’s Luis Muriel skied his attempt over the crossbar, each goalkeeper then got a hand on a shot, but couldn’t keep them out, leaving Lucas Biglia with a chance to win it for Argentina. But he put it just wide of the post. Juan “The Neymar Killer” Zuniga then had his shot saved by Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo assaulted the crossbar with a blistering miss. Colombia then launched another shot well over the crossbar, making it feel like this was all being done on purpose.
Finally, mercifully, Carlos Tevez scored the winner with a shot that just made it over David Ospina’s outstretched leg.
As unbelievable as the shootout was, it took a fair amount of insanity to even reach that point. With Arsenal preparing to buy Petr Cech, Ospina seemed determined to prove his worth to his club with several miraculous saves.
This double save to deny Kun Aguero and Messi was spectacular:
Ospina also received a bit of help from his defenders, though:
Despite these defensive heroics, Colombia’s attack just never got going in this tournament and despite their efforts, they couldn’t hold Messi and friends back from a potential date with Brazil in the semifinals.