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SPORTS | 26-06-2024 00:04

Argentina into Copa América quarter-finals after 1-0 win over Chile

Lautaro Martínez gets a late winner for Argentina as the Albiceleste avenge famous Copa América final defeat to Chile and qualify for the quarter-finals.

Argentina have become the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Copa America USA-2024 after they beat rivals Chile 1-0 on Tuesday night.

Substitute Lautaro Martínez grabbed an 88th-minute winner as the Albiceleste finally overcame Chile at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Lionel Messi hit the post for Argentina in the first half but the World Cup winners had their goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez to thank for keeping them on level terms before Lautaro's late strike settled a pulsating clash in front of 82,000 fans.

There were enough openings for the 15-times Copa América champions to get the breakthrough much earlier but a combination of poor finishing and an inspired performance from Chile's 41-year-old goalkeeper Claudio Bravo left the scored deadlocked.

The home of the NFL's New York Jets and New York Giants – and venue for the 2026 World Cup final – was transformed into a home venue for Argentina before the match. And an expectant crowd saw Messi and company dictate proceedings in the early stages.

Messi's strike partner Julián Álvarez forced Bravo into a save in the 22nd minute with a first-time shot after Nicolás González had pulled the ball back from the byline.

Chile were doing a good job of neutralising Messi, closing him down with three players on occasions but the eight-times Ballon d'Or winner was inches away from an opener in the 36th minute with a shot from 25 yards out which clipped the outside of the post.

Bravo did well after the break to parry out a blast at the near post from Nahuel Molina and then showed great reactions to push a fierce González drive against the bar.

Chile threatened on the counter though and twice Emiliano Martínez had to be at his best to deny drives from Rodrigo Echeverría.

But the decisive moment came when Chile failed to clear an in-swinging corner from Messi and Lautaro Martínez pounced to grab the winner.

Lautaro should have added a second after a breakaway from Ángel Di María but in the end the solitary goal was enough to make it two wins out of two for the World Cup winners and book their place in the next round with a game to spare.

In other Copa América action on Tuesday, Jonathan David scored the only goal as Canada reignited their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Peru in sweltering Kansas City.

Lille striker David – who is reportedly being targeted by Premier League sides Manchester United and Chelsea – once again demonstrated his eye for goal with a cool finish to secure all three points for Canada against 10-man Peru at the Children's Mercy Park Stadium.

 

Match details

Copa América United States-2024;
Group A - Second round of fixtures

Argentina 1 Chile 0
Stadium: MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford)
Referee: Andrés Matonte (URU)
Goals: Argentina: Lautaro Martínez (88)
Bookings: Gabriel Suazo (54), Mauricio Isla (81)

Line-ups:
Argentina: Emiliano Martínez - Nahuel Molina (Gonzalo Montiel, 83), Cristian Romero, Lisandro Martínez, Nicolás Tagliafico (Marcos Acuña, 83) - Rodrigo De Paul, Enzo Fernández (Giovani Lo Celso, 64), Alexis Mac Allister - Lionel Messi, Julián Álvarez (Lautaro Martínez, 73) y Nicolás González (Angel Di María, 73). Coach: Lionel Scaloni.
Chile: Claudio Bravo - Mauricio Isla (Nicolas Fernández, 86), Igor Lichnovsky, Paulo Díaz, Gabriel Suazo - Erick Pulgar (Marcelino Núñez, 76), Rodrigo Echeverría - Darío Osorio, Alexis Sánchez (Marcos Bolados, 65), Víctor Dávila - Eduardo Vargas (Ben Brereton, 86). Coach: Ricardo Gareca.

 

Next match

Argentina versus Peru

Saturday, June 29, 9pm

Hard Rock Stadium

Miami Gardens, Florida, United States

 

– TIMES/AFP

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