Argentina qualified for the Tokyo Games on Thursday after a harrowing 2-1 win with 10 men over host Colombia on the penultimate round of the final home run of the South American Pre-Olympic.
"This achievement is for Argentine soccer," said coach Fernando Batista, who did not stop smiling at the press conference after the match. “We have players of a very high level in our inferiors. This is the way".
The Albiceleste will thus have an opportunity to claim their claim in the Olympic football competition. She competed in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and was eliminated in the first round.
Argentina won the Olympic gold medals in soccer in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.
Batista's team built the victory at the beginning of the second half, with the goals of the midfielder Agustín Urzi at 50 minutes, with a shot of about 25 meters, and of the defender Nehuén Pérez, with a header at 53 after a cross from Agustín Álvarez .
But the tension of the match was put to the limit at 69, when the defender Hernán de la Fuente committed a foul in the area against Ménder García and the Chilean referee Piero Maza signaled a penalty, transformed into a goal by the attacker Edwuin Cetré.
A minute later, Urzi kicked defender Willer Ditta off the ball and was sent off.
Colombia had five excellent opportunities to pierce the Argentine fence but did not make them concrete. When Maza gave the final whistle, the Argentine players ran onto the court to celebrate the victory, which also gave them the championship in this Pre-Olympic, with an unattainable harvest of six points in the final homerun.
In contrast, the Colombian teams collapsed, and the public fell silent at the Alfonso López de Bucaramanga stadium.
Colombia still has a chance to qualify. He needs a win against Uruguay and for Brazil not to defeat Argentina on Sunday at the end of the homerun. Uruguay would advance with a victory, if Brazil does not win.
"We lost magnificent opportunities to score while Argentina, who attacked less, wreaked havoc early in the second half," lamented Colombia captain Eduard Atuesta.
In the first game of the day, Uruguay got in the way of Brazil and drew a 1-1 draw from them.
Brazil, which won its first Olympic football gold medal in history as host in Rio de Janeiro 2016, resigned itself to its second draw in the final home run. With his two points, he was in second place.
Uruguay and Colombia appear with one unit and a difference of minus one goal.
Gustavo Ferreira's squad had fallen 3-1 to Brazil in the first phase of the Olympic Qualifying, and only advanced to the last-minute home run, thanks to a favorable combination of results.
Manuel Ugarte, with the complicity of Brazilian defender Bruno and goalkeeper Ivan, put Celeste up in the 35th minute. The forward of the Fénix club from his country connected a shot from the middle distance, Bruno slightly changed the course of the ball and Ivan, kneeling, could not intercept it.
"We fought to win, but Uruguay defended well ... We lost opportunities to reach three points," said Ivan.
Uruguay returned the courtesy five minutes later. Goalkeeper Ignacio de Arruabarrena scored on his own goal in an incredible way. He wanted to control with his hands a header from the attacker Pedrinho, who had very little, but the ball ended up bouncing on the grass and slipping between his legs.
La Garra Charrúa took the initiative for much of the first stage and created dangerous situations against an opponent with an unsound defense.
Brazil lifted in the complement, and De Arruabarrena dodged dangerous situations, including one in the 75th minute, when he made a double save to forward Matheus Cunha.
Uruguay looked for the backlash with forward Diego Rossi and in the end had two chances to convert. The Los Angeles FC player of the MLS was left alone in front of Ivan at 89 but failed to finalize.
"We were more than Brazil, we gave our lives and I regret that I did not manage to score the winning goal," said Rossi.
Argentina and the second place in the contest will play the Olympic Games between July and August.