Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said the absence of some key Colombia players may play a crucial role in their Copa America quarter-final on Friday.
Martino’s outfit face Jose Pekerman’s side in Vina del Mar in the last eight knowing that they will not come up against Carlos Bacca, Carlos Sanchez and Edwin Valencia due to injury and suspension.
But while Pekerman claimed on Thursday that his squad can absorb those losses, Martino said the loss of midfield duo Sanchez and Valencia could be pivotal.
“The absences of the two midfielders are especially important for Colombia,” the 52-year-old told a news conference.
“I don’t know if they have players to replace them in the same way.
“It is clear that one of the two to come in will be Alexander Mejia, but even with differences in personnel their pattern will be more or less familiar.
“But we don’t need to worry about the opponents.
“We do worry about the referees. The best referees are here at the Copa America but we need them to act in such a way.”
Martino’s comment on referees come after the fiery first quarter-final between Chile and Uruguay, which saw the high-profile sending-off of Edinson Cavani after a clash with Gonzalo Jara.
And the Argentina boss added his belief that Jara was in the wrong to provoke the Uruguay striker.
“In that match we saw a couple of incidents and a number of refereeing errors. It is very important to review what happened to Cavani,” Martino added.
“You often try to take advantage of situations, but only within certain limits. What happened on Wednesday should not have happened.
“It was also a game full of simulation and hard fouls. What happened was very regrettable.”
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