Tevez makes up for costly penalty-kick miss in 2011

David Ospina kept Colombia in the game with superb saves, tipping over this header from Lionel Messi after first keeping out Sergio Aguero's effort. Carlos Tevez was not among the five designated penalty takers because of his miss in the 2011 Copa. B
Carlos Tevez was not among the five designated penalty takers because of his miss in the 2011 Copa. But he had a chance to redeem himself when the first five spot-kicks for each team yielded no winner.PHOTO: AFP
Ospina was left dejected, as his Argentina counterpart Sergio Romero saved Jeison Murillo's spot-kick to send Colombia out of the Copa America.
David Ospina kept Colombia in the game with superb saves, tipping over this header from Lionel Messi after first keeping out Sergio Aguero's effort. PHOTO: REUTERS
David Ospina kept Colombia in the game with superb saves, tipping over this header from Lionel Messi after first keeping out Sergio Aguero's effort. Carlos Tevez was not among the five designated penalty takers because of his miss in the 2011 Copa. B
Ospina was left dejected, as his Argentina counterpart Sergio Romero saved Jeison Murillo's spot-kick to send Colombia out of the Copa America.PHOTO: AFP

Vina Del Mar (Chile) - Carlos Tevez fired Argentina into the semi-finals of the Copa America on Friday, scoring the decisive spot-kick as the football tournament favourites defeated Colombia 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out.

Tevez, who missed the crucial penalty when Argentina went out in a shoot-out at the 2011 edition, redeemed himself after Colombia's Jeison Murillo had blazed over the bar.

The 31-year-old, who came on as a second-half substitute, provided the dramatic final twist to a shoot-out which saw Lucas Biglia and Marcos Rojo both miss kicks for Argentina that would have sealed victory after regulation time had finished at 0-0.

Game not over

"In soccer, there's always a second chance. But tonight is not about me, it's about my team-mates."

CARLOS TEVEZ, who missed the penalty that eliminated Argentina on home soil in 2011

Argentina's triumph puts them into a semi-final against the winners of this morning's (Singapore time) quarter-final between Brazil and Paraguay.

Tevez admitted his contribution to victory - four years after his nightmare miss sealed Argentina's elimination from the 2011 tournament on home soil - was sweet.

"In soccer, there's always a second chance," said the forward, who earlier on Friday sealed his move from Juventus back to his boyhood club Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires.

"But tonight is not about me, it's about my team-mates.

"My team-mates won this match and I'm very proud of them, and I'm proud to be part of this squad."

Tevez, who spent three long years frozen out of Argentina's national team before returning after last year's World Cup, said he was happy with his non-starting role.

"I enjoy playing, the team is playing well and I just have to wait for my chance," he said.

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino admitted that he had omitted Tevez from his list of five designated penalty-takers for the shoot-out in order to ease pressure on the former Manchester City striker.

"I didn't put Tevez among the top five because the last time he shot, Argentina went out. We wanted to avoid that," he revealed.

Defeat was cruel for Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina who had kept his side in the contest with a series of superb saves during the 90 minutes.

Argentina had earlier dominated a one-sided first half which at times threatened to spiral out of control with both sides committing a series of niggly fouls that went unpunished by the referee.

Colombia star James Rodriguez became the first of six players to receive a caution in the opening 45 minutes when he was booked for dissent.

By half-time, three more Colombians - Santiago Arias, Alexander Mejia and Juan Cuadrado - had earned yellow cards.

For Argentina, Javier Mascherano and Sergio Aguero were booked.

The highlight of the half was an incredible double save by Ospina in the 26th minute.

A low cross from the right picked out Aguero whose shot was saved by Ospina's legs.

Lionel Messi seemed certain to score from the rebound as the ball looped into his path but Ospina recovered in time to parry the Argentina captain's header over the bar.

But the goalkeeper was unable to reproduce his heroics in the shoot-out as Messi, Ezequiel Garay, Ever Banega, Ezequiel Lavezzi all drilled in their first four penalties.

Luis Muriel's miss for Colombia gave Biglia the chance to clinch it but the Lazio defender shot wide.

The next three penalties were all missed, giving the chance for Tevez to play hero.

AFP

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 28, 2015, with the headline 'Tevez makes up for costly penalty-kick miss in 2011'. Print Edition | Subscribe