Copa America: Argentina held by Chile despite the brilliance of Messi | Football news

Argentina playmaker frustrated after 1-1 draw against Chile; Paraguay takes the lead in Group A after their victory over Bolivia.

Lionel Messi scored a brilliant free kick but it wasn’t enough to score three points for Argentina who were held 1-1 by Chile in their Copa America opener on Monday night.

Ahead of the match at the Nilton Santos Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, fans were stunned by a touching tribute to Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, died in November at the age of 60.

Messi, who turns 34 this month, said ahead of the game that winning with his national team was “the biggest dream” of his decorated career, despite all the individual successes and club titles he has won with. Barcelona.

Argentina appeared to be ready to start giving Messi what he craves. Coach Lionel Scaloni’s roster lost three clear chances between the 16th and 18th minutes, one from Lautaro Martínez and two from Nicolas Gonzalez.

And then Messi opened the scoring in the 33rd after a free kick that Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo could not stop despite a touch of the ball to his left.

Chile transformed into a more aggressive team in the second half and received a penalty after a video review.

Arturo Vidal’s shot on the spot was stopped, but Eduardo Vargas nodded into the empty goal to tie the score in the 57th.

Messi opened the scoring for Argentina in the 33rd minute [Ricardo Moraes/Reuters]

“This game was complicated for us,” said an exhausted Messi after the draw. “We had to be calm, have control of possession and play faster. The penalty also changed the game.

Chilean Vidal said the draw despite Messi’s performance was a good result for his side, who are in transition with new coach Martin Lasarte.

“Leo always makes you change formation. Thank God we managed to get a draw,” he said. “We always get our intensity back, changing the system a bit. It was a tough game, we have tried to keep order.

Paraguay leads Group A after a 3-1 victory over Bolivia at the Olympic Stadium in Goiania.

Bolivia scored Erwin Saavedra’s first penalty in the first half, but Paraguay changed course after the break with goals from Alejandro Romero and a brace from Angel Romero.

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