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MARACAIBO, Venezuela: Argentina striker Hernan Crespo is likely to miss the rest of the Copa America after pulling a muscle in his right leg during a 4-2 win over Colombia on Monday.

"It's very difficult for Hernan to play again in this tournament," Homero de Agostino, Argentina's team doctor, said on Tuesday.

Crespo left the match limping on his right leg, immediately after converting Argentina's first goal, a penalty in the 20th minute.

"I felt the sharp pain as soon as I jumped to celebrate the goal," Crespo said. "I'm angry, of course, but I know the rest of the guys can achieve our goal of winning the tournament."

After two Group C matches, Crespo's three goals put him in a four-way tie with Brazil's Robinho and Paraguay's Roque Santa Cruz and Salvador Cabanas as the tournament's top scorers.
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Although the Inter Milan striker will be missed, coach Alfo Basile has brought a powerful arsenal of forwards from European clubs that can easily fill the void and keep the team on track to winning its tournament-best 15th title.

Among the top candidates to take Crespo's place in the lineup for Thursday's match against Paraguay in Barquisimeto is Carlos Tevez. The striker for West Ham of the English Premier League scored a goal off the bench in Argentina's 4-1 opening blowout of the United States.

Starting defender Gabriel Milito, who plays for Spain's Zaragoza, will also miss the match to serve an automatic one-game suspension after receiving his second yellow card against Colombia. He'll be replaced by Daniel Diaz, who plays for Basile's former team Boca Juniors.

Thursday's game will decide who finishes atop Group C.

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