Copa America 3rd place

The 3rd place match. Argentina – Colombia. This was new, introduced in the new Copa America format in time when 3rd-place games lost their appeal. And even more so in this case, for Argentina lost the big derby and playing for less than the title… well, only 5000 attended, compared to 75 000 in the semi-final against Uruguay.
Even Maradona was unable to get bigger interest and support… and rightly so: Colombia was leading 2-0 by the 28th minute.
There was another hero already – Pibe Valderama.
He was known in South America, of course, but at this tournament the world really ‘discovered’ him – with inevitable mistakes, as the French one here, calling him Delgado and Paraguayan.
Valderama did more than Maradona on top of everything – he could be seen defending at the goal line trying to prevent Caniggia from scoring. Meantime Hiquita did not make stupid mistakes and all Argentine efforts amounted to single goal by Caniggia in the 85th minute. Thus Argentina lost again. Symbolicly, heavy fog fell down in the last minutes, as if to pull curtain down on Argentine shame.
Bilardo constantly talked and warned the public that his team was tired, not ready, had injured players, and whatever else excuses, but it was no good: Argentina was not happy, the country wanted victory and it was greatly humiliated by the Uruguayans. May be Bilardo made a crucial mistake by not calling experimental squad, but he was not such a coach on one hand and on the other – Argentina was hosting Copa America, so nothing by victory counted. At the end – disgrace.
Colombia was more than pleasant surprise: there was talented bunch of young players, coached by equally young Francisco Maturana. They were just emerging, in a building process yet, but pushing ahead. Third place hardly mattered anymore, but it was achievement for them, getting noticed and getting confident. Colombia was pleasant and inventive team, conducted by the elegant and imaginative magician Carlos Valderama.
And at the end he – not Maradona – was named the best player of the championship. Rightly and deserving so.