For about an hour, the U.S. looked like it was going to pull off a result against Argentina. That they scored first - heck, scored at all - surpassed the expectations of many but the U.S. was some 30 minutes away from what would have been an outstanding result.
Then the roof caved in. Hernan Crespo scored his second goal of the night in the 62nd minute. Pablo Aimar scored in the 78th and just for kicks Carlos Tevez bagged a goal in the 85th minute and Argentina won 4-1.
Leonel Messi didn't score but he created the match-winning strike when he knifed through the Americans' defense and fed Crespo, who did well to slip it past Kasey Keller. After that, the U.S. had no choice but to look for offense and left gaping holes in the back which Argentina was more than happy to exploit.
What could have been historic instead was a clear reminder that the U.S. needs to play near-perfect games to get results in Copa America. This tournament will be an immense challenge, if that wasn't clear already.
Some of these players will have to mature in a hurry. Others will have to find their form. And everyone will have to play on the same page, with the same effort and the same mentality for 90 minutes if the U.S. will have a chance against Paraguay on Monday.