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Lionel Scaloni slams state of the pitch after Argentina’s defeat

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Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni slammed the state of the pitch in Salvador after watching Colombia defeat his side 2-0 in their Copa America opener.

Argentina’s hopes of a first trophy since 1993 suffered a major blow at the hands of Colombia on Saturday. Now, they find themselves bottom of Group B and in need of a victory against Paraguay on Wednesday.

La Albiceleste got off to a sluggish start in Salvador and only really began to challenge Colombia in the second-half. This was largely due to Scaloni’s decision to replace Angel Di Maria for Rodrigo de Paul, who made an instant impact.

While captain Lionel Messi came close on a couple of occasions, though, Argentina were unable to break the deadlock. And they paid the ultimate price when substitutes Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata scored to seal Colombia a 2-0 win.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, an unhappy Scaloni took the chance to slam the poor state of the pitch in Brazil.

“I think it was a shame the condition of the pitch, considering this is just the first game here,” said Scaloni, according to SportsStar.

“I don’t want to know how this pitch would be after two or three games. This could’ve been a lot better for a first game, for these kinds of players.

“I think it is a shame.”

Despite overseeing Argentina’s first Copa America opening game loss since 1979, Scaloni was upbeat over his side’s second-half display.

“I think they [Colombia] are a good team. They are really focused on what matters,” said the Argentina coach.

“The most important thing is I think we faced them well, they were better at some times, some times we were better.

“But those are just cycles within the game and we need to adapt to them. We were good, even with that goal from them on the counter-attack, especially in the second half.”

Although La Albiceleste skipper Messi wasn’t quite as optimistic as Scaloni after lamenting their “bitter” defeat.

SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA – JUNE 07: Lionel Scaloni coach of Argentina looks on before a friendly match between Argentina and Nicaragua at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario on June 07, 2019 in San Juan, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)