Messi and Argentina humbled in Copa America opener

first_imgColombia heaped misery on Lionel Messi and Argentina with a 2-0 victory in their Copa America opener on Saturday.Runners-up in 2015 and 2016, Messi’s Argentina were looking to banish their past demons in pursuit of a first major international title since 1993.However, Argentina were upstaged by Colombia, who made a winning start in Group B thanks to Roger Martinez’s 71st-minute stunner and Duvan Zapata’s late sealer. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? As Argentina pressed and probed, first-half substitute Martinez sent a thunderous strike past Franco Armani in Salvador and Zapata made sure of the win during the closing stages.Argentina came into the tournament off a 5-1 rout of Nicaragua and with the most Copa victories in history (119) but the South American giants did not look like winning against Colombia.Martinez – a replacement for Luis Muriel in the 14th minute – linked up with Radamel Falcao but his shot deflected just wide of the post as Colombia appeared the more likely to strike first.Overall, it was a forgettable opening 45 minutes, which did not see a single shot on target from either team, with Messi subdued.It was more of the same in the second half, though Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina was finally called into action after a vicious volley from Leandro Paredes approaching the hour mark.The match did come to life moments later when Juan Cuadrado’s tackle on Messi threatened to spark a melee as Argentina players rushed in to confront the Colombia winger.That triggered Argentina, who almost took the lead after Nicolas Otamendi’s powerful header forced Ospina into a low diving save, while Messi was unable to head home the rebound with the goal at his mercy.But Colombia broke the deadlock with 19 minutes remaining – Martinez collecting the ball on the flank and drifting inside before beating Armani from distance – and fellow substitute Zapata doubled the lead four minutes from the end courtesy of an emphatic close-range finish.71’GOOOOOOOOLLLL DE [email protected] adelanta a Colombia en el marcador.Colombia  1 vs. 0  Argentina#COLARG #VamosColombia #ElEquipoDeLaGente pic.twitter.com/m905bHTi2L— Selección Colombia (@FCFSeleccionCol) June 15, 2019What does it mean? Long road ahead for ScaloniIn the build-up to the match, head coach Lionel Scaloni joked he would retire if Argentina win the Copa America. Scaloni does not appear any closer to retirement based on Saturday’s result and performance. After last year’s World Cup last-16 exit and Messi’s brief international absence, the South American giants have a lot of work ahead.Martinez makes himself a heroWhen Muriel went down with an injury early in the first half, Carlos Queiroz turned to Martinez. And as Falcao struggled to make an impact on proceedings, 24-year-old America forward Martinez emerged a hero with his first international goal since 2016.Pressure builds on Messi and Co.The weight of a nation falls on Messi’s shoulders and the captain was helpless to prevent another poor result on the international stage. Still searching for his first senior title with Argentina, Messi was relatively subdued in the team’s first game.Key Opta Facts- Colombia’s win was their third against Argentina at the Copa America and first since 1999.- They also ended an eight-game winless run against Argentina.- Argentina lost their Copa opener for just the third time and first time since 1979.- Argentina attempted only one shot (blocked) and had just one touch in the opposition box in the first half against Colombia.- Messi has now played 22 Copa America games. Only Javier Mascherano (26) has played more for Argentina.What’s next?Argentina meet Paraguay on Wednesday, while Colombia face guests and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar. read morelast_img read more

Greyhounds must be given same protection as race horses as MPs and

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Telegraph understands that in light of research and pressure from charities and MPs, Defra is considering tightening regulations to cover conditions at trainers’ kennels, and providing funding for rehoming so healthy dogs are not put down.Anna Turley MP is one of many Members of Parliament who have been pushing for tighter regulation on the industry and has said there should be a centralised register of greyhounds so the government can see what happens to the animals after they retire.She told The Telegraph: “”With the horse racing industry, the scale of injuries and deaths isn’t as bad, horses are far more expensive than greyhounds and dogs need to be treated as living animals and not seen as dispensible.”We would like to see some best practice on responsible ownership, better regulation on ownership, a centralised database of dogs rather than informal recording, so we could see what happens and see what protections need to be put in place. It’s been very difficult even to get these figures.”Mr Laurie also said more needs to be done to promote ex-racing greyhounds as pets; while many see them as high-maintenance, they are ideal for first-time dog owners.He explained: “We take in many ex-racing greyhounds at Battersea – over 100 already this year. Many people think they’re high maintenance and need a lot of exercise. This is rarely the case and most Greyhounds are quite lazy dogs that would rather spend their time lounging on a comfortable sofa. Greyhounds can make wonderful pets, particularly for first time dog owners.”A Defra spokesperson said: “The government agrees with the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee that the industry has to be more transparent about the destiny of retired racing greyhounds.“We have recently reviewed the regulations for racing greyhounds and are considering whether they should be extended.” Greyhounds must be given the same protection as race horses, MPs and animal charities have said, as they demand protection for the dogs while they are in kennels.At the moment, there are no rules for how the dogs are treated while in kennels, where they spend 95 per cent of their racing lives – and no way to tell if the animals are being mistreated, neglected or abused.The government has promised to act after new figures released earlier this year showed 348 greyhounds were destroyed in a year because of lack of funds for veterinary care, and a lack of willing homes for retired dogs.Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has urged the government to give the dogs protection while they are in racing kennels, and to force the racing industry, which reaps hundreds of millions of pounds in profit each year from greyhounds, to contribute to their veterinary costs. This would mean hundreds of dogs may not have to be put down each year.Battersea’s Deputy Chief Executive, Peter Laurie, said :“Currently racing tracks are subject to statutory regulations, but trainers’ kennels are not. As we estimate that a racing Greyhound spends 95% of its time at a trainer’s kennels, Battersea strongly believes these should be brought into the scope of the regulations.“Battersea is also concerned that improvements to Greyhound welfare are being held back because the industry is significantly underfunded. Although betting firms make large profits from Greyhound racing, many are failing to make a contribution to Greyhound welfare and the regulation of this industry. We are calling for the existing, voluntary levy to be made compulsory.” The government is looking into providing further protection for greyhounds while they are in kennels The government is looking into providing further protection for greyhounds while they are in kennelsCredit:PETA via AP read more