Lionel Messi bitter about Colombia defeat in Copa America opener, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Lionel Messi bitter about Colombia defeat in Copa America opener

Argentina's opening defeat in the Copa America - a 2-0 loss to Colombia despite dominating the second half yesterday morning (Singapore time) - has left La Albiceleste feeling bitter, said captain Lionel Messi.

Goals from Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata in the final 20 minutes gave Colombia their first tournament victory over Argentina in 20 years, as Messi's hopes of finally landing a major international trophy - after losing in four finals - suffered a serious blow.

"We leave here feeling bitter," said Messi, after the Group B clash in Salvador. "In the second half, we had our chances."

One of the best of those fell to the 31-year-old Barcelona icon, but he headed wide after Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina got down quickly to push out a header from centre-back Nicolas Otamendi.

Although Argentina dominated possession and created more chances in the second half, they rarely caused Ospina any serious concerns.

"We didn't want to start this way, obviously, but now we have to lift our heads and keep going," said the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who lined up in an enviable forward trident with Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria of Paris Saint-Germain.

"In the first half, we retreated a little and were holding on but, in the second, we really opened up," said Messi.

"Whenever you lose, it's hard for us, we usually take it badly. Now we have to think about Paraguay."

Argentina can still make the knockout stage with games against Paraguay on Thursday morning and invited side Qatar next Monday.