International

Martino eager for Colombia victory

2015-11-16 11:36
Gerardo Martino (AP Photo)

Montevideo - Argentina coach Gerardo Martino says Tuesday's 2018 World Cup qualifier at Colombia is a must-win for his injury-ravaged side after they were left frustrated by 10-man Brazil.

The result Friday in Buenos Aires - where arch rivals Brazil came from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw - meant Argentina are winless after three games of South America's marathon qualifying campaign, with only two points from a possible nine.

"We have to win in Colombia," Martino said after watching his side - shorn of a glut of injured stars including Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero - turn in a dominant performance against Brazil but fail to come away with maximum points.

"We do not need to look at the table to know that we need to win," he said.

"Colombia away is not going to be same game as Brazil," he added. "We need to try to take control of the game but I believe we will face a team that is going to attack more."

Colombia, sixth in the 10-team South American table, will be without Atletico Madrid striker Jackson Martinez, who injured an ankle in the 1-1 draw at Copa America champions Chile last week.

Carlos Sanchez and Santiago Arias will also be unavailable due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

Midfielder Edwin Cardona said the Colombians are well aware of the threat posed by Argentina, even without Messi.

"They have great players," he told reporters. "Even with several absentees they have quality players to replace them.

"Argentina are going to have the ball and will be a little more offensive... Ezequiel Lavezzi and Angel Di Maria are quite explosive. The key will be to keep the ball."

Brazil - whose campaign also got off to a rocky start with defeat at Chile - will be trying to solidify their grasp on fourth place in the table when they host Peru at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.

Ecuador, who top the table with a maximum nine points, will seek to add another victory before qualifying breaks until March when they visit Venezuela, who have yet to win a point.

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