VINA DEL MAR (CHILE), June 27 (AFP): Carlos Tevez fired Argentina into the semi-finals of the Copa America, scoring the decisive spot-kick as the tournament favourites defeated Colombia 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out.
Tevez, who missed the crucial penalty when Argentina went out in a shoot-out at the 2011 tournament, rammed homed the winning spot-kick after Colombia�s Jeison Murillo had blazed over the bar.
The 31-year-old, who came on as a second half substitute, provided the dramatic final twist to a shoot-out which saw Lucas Biglia and Marcos Rojo both miss kicks for Argentina that would have sealed victory after regulation time finished locked at 0-0.
Argentina�s win puts them into a semi-final against the winner of Saturday�s quarter-final between Brazil and Paraguay.
Tevez admitted his contribution to victory � four years after his nightmare miss sealed Argentina�s elimination from the 2011 tournament on home soil � was sweet.
�In soccer there�s always a second chance,� said Tevez, who earlier Friday sealed his move back boyhood club Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires.
�But tonight is not about me, it�s about my team-mates. My team-mates won this match and I�m very proud of them, and I�m proud to be part of this squad.�
Tevez, who spent three long years frozen out of Argentina�s national team before returning after the 2014 World Cup, said he was happy with his non-starting role in the Albiceleste.
�I enjoy playing, the team is playing well and I just have to wait for my chance,� Tevez said.
Argentina coach Gerardo Martino admitted that he had deliberately omitted Tevez from his list of five designated penalty takers for the shoot-out in order to ease pressure on the former Manchester City striker.
�I didn�t put Tevez among the top five because the last time he shot, Argentina went out. We wanted to avoid that,� Martino revealed.
Defeat was cruel on Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina, who had single-handedly kept his side in the contest with a series of superb saves during 90 minutes to frustrate the tournament favourites.
Argentina had earlier dominated a one-sided first half which at times threatened to spiral out of control with both sides committing a series of niggly fouls that went unpunished by Mexican referee Roberto Garcia.
Argentina midfielder Javier Pastore was the first to threaten, touching on a low cross from Angel Di Maria that was cleared at the near post by the Colombian cover after only seven minutes.