Martinez scores cracker as Colombia win grudge match with Argentina

Colombia’s Roger Martinez (centre) celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Argentina during their Copa America match at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador, Brazil. (AFP pic)

SALVADOR: Roger Martinez scored an outstanding goal as Colombia beat Argentina 2-0 in a Copa America Group B opener on Saturday which burst into life after a sluggish start.

Just as Colombia looked like being overwhelmed by a dangerous-looking Argentina side, substitute Martinez controlled a cross-field ball on the left wing before cutting across the area and smashing it into the far top corner in the 71st minute.

His fellow substitute Duvan Zapata made sure Colombia took all the points by pouncing from close range to knock in a cross from Jefferson Lerma in the 86th minute.

Colombia had looked stronger in the first half but Argentina were a different beast when Rodrigo de Paul replaced Angel di Maria immediately after the interval and captain Lionel Messi was able to find space to cause some problems.