Argentina opened their Copa America campaign against Chile on Monday at Estádio Nilton Santos, Rio de Janeiro. La Albiceleste were clearly the better side heading into the tournament given their 14-game unbeaten run. However, the Messi-led Argentina were only able to earn a 1-1 draw against Chile, despite dominating the first half.
30 minutes into the game both the teams lost multiple chances to score, but Argentina were put ahead with a sensational free kick by their captain Lionel Messi in the 33rd minute. When the two sides recently met in a World Cup qualifier, Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made a striking save against Messi’s free-kick. However, this time the Barcelona striker curled a superb strike from 25 yards out just beyond Bravo's dive, continuing the legacy of his famous free-kicks.
Watch the video here:
The second half was apparently a turnaround for both the sides, with Eduardo Vargas equalising Messi’s goal in the 57th minute, after Arturo Vidal missed a penalty. Messi continued to create opportunities in the second half; however his teammates struggled to give him the support, leading to a 1-1 draw in their opening encounter despite a stunning free kick by the Argentine skipper.
This match got complicated to us: Messi
After suffering a draw despite scoring a superb free-kick, the Argentine captain expressed that the game got complicated for them. “We needed to be calm, have the control of the possession and play more quickly. The penalty changed the match too,” Messi mentioned.
Adding to this striker Gonzalez also admitted that the side made "too many mistakes". “We should have been much better at the finishing. I am upset, but also happy for what we showed today,” he further mentioned
Argentina will next face Uruguay on Friday, whereas Chile will take on Bolivia on the same day. Paraguay leads Group B after a 3-1 win over Bolivia at the Olimpico stadium in Goiania.