Pre-tournament favorites Argentina and World Cup surprise Columbia will face one another in the Copa America quarterfinals on Friday night. A pair of rivals — Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Colombia’s James Rodriguez — will take center stage under the lights in Chile. For all of the accolades Messi has achieved in his career, — including being in the greatest player of all time discussion — he has yet to end Argentina’s 22-year trophy drought in all competitions.
The 27-year-old, who recently earned his 100th cap for the country, is squarely in his prime and Argentina is the favorite to win the Copa America. With co-stars Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria in top form, this may be the best chance the nation has of claiming a title. Aguero suffered a shoulder injury in the group stage, but all indications are he will return for the quarterfinals.
Colombia drew a tough opponent in the quarterfinals, and will count on Rodriguez — who is fortunate to be playing in this match — to orchestrate an upset. Colombia has scored just one goal in its first three games, but progressed to the quarterfinals with a shock 1-0 win over Brazil that included some post-match extras.
Argentina is favored to progress, but will have to break down a Colombian defense that has given up just one goal in 270 minutes so far this tournament. Argentina has won two and drawn two in the last four meetings, with the last Colombian victory in the series coming in 2007.
Here’s what you need to know about the match:
Copa America quarterfinals
Friday, June 26
8:30 p.m. local time, 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time
BEIN Sports (USA) Premier Sports (UK), (International viewers, click here for your local provider)
Argentina -115, Colombia +325, Draw +230
Stats You Need to Know
Record: 2-0-1 (7 points, 1st Group B)
Coach: Gerardo Martino, 1st season
Goals For: 4
Goals Allowed: 2
Record: 1-1-1 (4 points, 3rd Group C)
Coach: Jose Pekerman, 3rd season
Goals For: 1
Goals Allowed: 1
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