Argentina, Messi's Copa dream ends; coach Batista in trouble

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Lionel Messi
Cordoba (Argentina), Jul 12: It's not over, Argentina has to wait more to end their trophy drought since 1993. The host nation Argentina was crashed out of Copa America tournament after they lost to Uruguay in the quarter-final match on Sunday, Jul 17 early morning.

Argentina lost to Uruguay 4-5 on penalties after they were locked at 1-1 after extra time. Carlos Tevez missed the crucial spotkick at the Santa Fe Stadium, nicknamed the Elephants Graveyard.

Diego Perez had given Uruguay a fifth-minute lead but Gonzalo Higuain levelled 12 minutes later. Both sides ended the 90 minutes with ten men. Perez was sent off on 38 minutes for a second yellow card and then Argentina lost skipper Javier Mascherano in the 86th minute for a bad tackle from behind on Luis Suarez.

Meanwhile, the Argentine coach Sergio Batista, who took over from the football legend Diego Maradona following the poor defeat against Germany in FIFA World Cup 2010, said that the losing to Uruguay was not a failure.

"I would not call it failure - that is a very strong word. We work to win and I think we really played very well" Batista said.

"Today, we did not play badly, we made chances... but we will keep on plugging away to raise our game."

Batista also added that he is not thinking of stepping down from the coach job as their objective is the next World Cup, which is in Brazil.

"My work started five, six months ago. We wanted to win the Copa America, but our objective is the World Cup," he added.

OneIndia News
(with inputs from PTI)

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