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Messi scores beautiful free-kick as Argentina draw against Chile in Copa América opener

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The Albiceleste created enough to win, but wasted too many chances

Argentina v Chile: Group A - Copa America Brazil 2021 Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images

Argentina began their 2021 Copa América campaign with a 1-1 draw against Chile in the group stage opener, but they once again will be disappointed they couldn’t win after taking the lead, which has happened three times in the last 10 days, twice now against the Chileans.

Argentina were the superior team in the first half and could have scored at least twice through Lautaro Martínez and Nico González, but both wasted big chances in front of goal. 30 minutes in, however, Lionel Messi scored a beauty of a free-kick to put the Albiceleste ahead.

Argentina went into the break in front and were clearly the better team but had a narrow lead, which was the exact same script from their World Cup Qualifier with Chile 10 days ago. And just like in that game, La Roja equalized with their only real chance of the game when Arturo Vidal was fouled inside the box by Tagliafico. Vidal missed the penalty, but Vargas headed home the rebound.

The final 30 minutes were about Argentina bringing the pressure to try and find a winner, and Messi created two golden opportunities for González, but he made a terrible decision to pass instead of shooting in the first one and missed a wide-open header just eight yards from goal in the second.

Sergio Agüero came off the bench with 10 minutes to go to try and make an impact but couldn’t, and the final whistle came to end a disappointing opening match for Argentina. Four out of five teams will qualify from the group so this draw isn’t bad for their place in the standings, but this should have been a morale-boosting victory for the Albiceleste.

Unfortunately only Messi had the scoring boots on in this one.