Unbeaten Colombia hands Argentina its first defeat

[WORLD CUP QUALIFYING] Unbeaten Colombia came back from a first-half deficit to hand Argentina a 2-1 loss, its first defeat in South American World Cup 2010 qualifying, and set off wild celebrations Tuesday in Bogota.

Argentina, which had opened with three straight wins, but ran into trouble in Bogota when star Carlos Tevez was red carded in the 25th minute for kicking Ruben Dario Bustos. Nonetheless, Argentina went ahead 12 minutes later on a goal by Lionel Messi, who slipped past three defenders before flicking the ball past Agustin Julio.

But Colombia rallied in the second half on goals by Bustos -- the second game in a row he has scored on a free kick -- and Dayro Moreno.

Jorge Luis Pinto's Colombians now have eight points, putting them one behind leader Argentina. Three qualifiers will be played on Wednesday.

In Tuesday's only other game, Venezuela rallied from one goal down in the last seven minutes to beat hapless Bolivia, 5-3. The last two goals came after Bolivian keeper Carlos Arias was injured, but Bolivia, which had already made three substitutions, couldn't replace him.

In the 89th minute, Giancarlo Maldonado beat the limping Aria with a header, prompting Coach Erwin Sanchez to replace Arias with left back Luis Gutierrez in goal. Gutierrez, unfortunately, was promptly caught off his line by Maldonado, who chipped the stand-in from 30 yards.

GAME RESULTS:
Nov. 20

Colombia 2 (Bustos 62, Moreno 83) Argentina 1 (Messi 37).
Venezuela 5
(Arismendi 20, 44, Guerra 83, Maldonado 89, 90) Bolivia 3 (Martins 19, 78, Arce 27).

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