ARGENTINA DROP POINTS AT HOME, IN FIRST MATCH SINCE DIEGO’S PASSING

Lionel Messi scored his 72nd goal for Argentina, but Alexis Sanchez’s 46th for Chile meant both teams share the points.

Argentina lined up for the national anthem at the Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades, with special jerseys to honour the legendary World Cup winning captain, Diego Maradona who passed away last November. They were on their way after Lautaro Martinez was brought down in the box by Guillermo Maripan in the 20th minute. After VAR was consulted, the penalty was given, which was converted by Lionel Messi to reach his 72nd goal for the Albiceleste in the 24th minute, and is now 5 goals behind Brazil legend Pele for the most international goals in the Western Hemisphere.

ARGENTINA CAPTAIN LIONEL MESSI. PHOTO CREDIT: OLYMPICS.COM

Alexis Sanchez’s 46th goal came off of a free kick in the 36th minute, when Gary Medel pulled the ball back at the far post for the oncoming Sanchez to tap in.

Argentina had a chance to go up 2-1 before half time, but goalkeeper Claudio Bravo saved the shot that was destined for the ‘V’, when Messi took a free kick from the top of the semi circle in the 45th minute.

Another free kick from Messi just outside the box in the 80th minute struck the ‘V’,  as Argentina enjoyed a dominant spell in the second half.

With the draw, Argentina remain unbeaten after 5 matches with 11 points, and also remain second in the standings behind Brazil, who play on Ecuador on Friday. Chile maintain 6th spot with 5 points from 5 matches.

Argentina travel to Colombia next Tuesday, while Chile host Bolivia.

In other matches played on Thursday, Colombia won 3-0 in Peru, Bolivia beat Venezuela 3-1 and Uruguay and Paraguay played to a goalless draw.

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