Partidazo: Argentina 0-5 Colombia, 5 September 1993 - Argentina's shame

The Colombia team celebrate their remarkable victory.

On 5 September 1993 Colombia travelled to Argentina to play a World Cup qualifier at Estadio Monumental. What happened in the game sent shockwaves through the world of football.

Argentina 0-5 Colombia

The Colombian side led by shaggy haired captain Carlos Valderrama handed the Albicelestes their biggest home defeat of all time, even though the home team was packed with legendary players such as Gabriel Batistuta, Diego Simeone and Fernando Redondo. The Colombians triumphed with two goals each  from Faustino Asprilla and Freddy Rincón and a late goal from Adolfo Valencia which was even applauded by the Argentine crowd, who had also started to shout Olé at each Colombian pass and to boo their own players.


The Argentine press were extremely critical, sports magazine El Gráfico marked the loss with a completely black cover and the word disgraceful. Argentine coach Alfio Basile came under enormous pressure to bring Diego Maradona back into the team. After shedding a lot of excess weight Maradona was recalled for the playoff against Australia, in which he scored the decisive goal. He was later sent home from the World Cup in disgrace after failing a random drugs test for ephedrine doping, following this Argentina were beaten 3-2 by Romania in the 2nd round in one of the classic World Cup encounters.

Basile later said "I never want to think about that [Colombia] match again. It was a crime against nature, a day when I wanted to dig a hole in the ground and bury myself in it."

The result elevated Colombia to the unrealistic position as one of the favourites for the 1994 World Cup in the United States. Colombia crashed out in the first round after defender Andrés Escobar scored an own goal against the hosts, he was shot to death in Medellín days later.

Further reading

For more great games involving South American teams, check out the rest of the Partidazo series.


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