Messi frustrated after Argentina draw

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Rio de Janeiro

Argentina superstar Lionel Messi scored a stunning freekick but Chile hit back to earn a 1-1 draw in the Copa America on Monday.

Messi’s magical left foot gave dominant Argentina a deserved first half lead but Eduardo Vargas equalized in the second half after Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved veteran midfielder Arturo Vidal’s penalty.

Despite Argentina’s dominance, Messi lamented that “we weren’t calm, we didn’t have control of the ball.”

His coach Lionel Scaloni saw things differently, though. “We deserved to win but in the end we drew. In any case, it’s only the start of a very tough tournament,” said Scaloni.

Before the Group B game started in the Nelson Santos stadium in Rio de Janeiro, there was a light and effects tribute to Argentina legend Diego Maradona, who died in November aged 60, although the ground was empty due to coronavirus restrictions.

The first chance fell to Messi on eight minutes as Leandro Paredes picked out Nicolas Tagliafico on the left and the fullback nodded the ball down for his captain, who sent a volley wide.

Minutes later, Giovani Lo Celso crossed from the left but a sliding Lautaro Martinez could only spoon the ball over the bar from inside the six-yard box.

Argentina were in total command and Lo Celso picked out Nicolas Gonzalez to shoot from 20 yards but goalkeeper Claudio Bravo got down well to his right to tip the ball around the post

From Messi’s corner Gonzalez headed over the bar and moments later he was released by Lo Celos but shot straight at Bravo.—APP

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