Lionel Messi scored a penalty however Argentina missed out on the possibility to take over prime spot of South American World Cup qualifying from rivals Brazil after a 1-1 draw with Chile on Thursday. Messi additionally clipped the woodwork and compelled three spectacular saves out of Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo however Alexis Sanchez earned the dogged guests some extent in Santiago del Estero. The draw leaves Argentina some extent behind Brazil, the one remaining facet with an ideal qualifying report, who host Ecuador on Friday.
Chile are down in sixth, nonetheless two factors off the qualification locations having received solely considered one of their 5 matches thus far.
Argentina captain Lionel Messi stated he was proud of the outcome, regardless of failing to win.
“The workforce had a great dynamic, it wasn’t straightforward taking part in once more after a lot time,” he stated. It was greater than six months because the final spherical of qualifiers after two matchdays had been postponed in March as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
“It was a particular match given it was the primary with out Diego” Maradona, the legendary 1986 World Cup profitable captain who died in November.
Sanchez breaks Argentina duck
The guests, who had been lacking veteran midfielder Arturo Vidal — hospitalized with Covid-19 — had the primary clear sight of objective on quarter-hour however Eduardo Vargas fizzed a low effort narrowly huge from 20 yards.
Argentina had been on prime, although, and the hosts had been awarded a penalty following a VAR test when Guillermo Maripan recklessly introduced down Lautaro Martinez within the field.
Messi casually rolled the ball low to the left of former Barcelona and Manchester Metropolis keeper Bravo, who dived the incorrect manner on 24 minutes.
The lead lasted solely 12 minutes earlier than Inter Milan ahead Sanchez tapped house into an empty internet from 4 yards out after a stretching Gary Medel turned Charles Aranguiz’s freekick again throughout objective.
“I used to be lacking a objective towards Argentina, I might by no means scored one earlier than so I am very completely happy,” Sanchez stated after the sport.
In first half damage time Messi got here near restoring Argentina’s benefit with a freekick from 20 yards that was heading for the highest scorner till Bravo leaped to tip the ball away one handed.
The hosts continued to carve out the higher alternatives within the second interval however Bravo saved comfortably from Angel Di Maria and Martinez.
On the different finish, Sanchez fired over the bar with a long-range free-kick.
His Inter teammate Martinez was a livewire within the field and lashed a shot huge earlier than coming inches from delivering a devilish cross into the hazard zone.
Bravo denies Messi
Ten minutes from time, from an equivalent place to his first half free-kick, Messi went even nearer to scoring however rattled the nook of bar and put up with Bravo overwhelmed.
The Barcelona magician got here to life within the closing levels and compelled Bravo right into a sprawling save all the way down to his left after which a minute later a leaping block excessive to his proper.
On Tuesday Argentina journey to Colombia whereas Chile host Bolivia.
With out the suspended Edinson Cavani, whose accomplice gave start to his fourth youngster earlier within the day, Uruguay labored to a 0-0 draw with Paraguay that stored the 2 sides locked on seven factors and battling for the ultimate automated qualification spot.
In a recreation of few clear possibilities, Uruguay truly had the ball within the internet by way of Jonathan Rodriguez within the first half in Montevideo nevertheless it was controversially dominated out for an offside towards Matias Vina.
Marcelo Moreno scored a brace as Bolivia climbed off the underside of the desk with a 3-1 win over Venezuela in La Paz.
Jhon Chancellor had equalized for Venezuela within the first half after Moreno’s early opener however Diego Bejarano put Bolivia again in entrance on the hour mark earlier than the hosts’ hero sealed the victory late on.
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