Sports, Football

Argentina too good for Chile

By Reuters
Published : 28 Jan 2022 09:05 PM | Updated : 28 Jan 2022 09:05 PM

Goals from Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez gave Argentina a 2-1 win in Chile on Thursday in their World Cup qualifier as the visitors collected the three points without Lionel Messi.

Argentina opted to rest Messi after his COVID-19 infection but his Paris Saint Germain team mate Di Maria stepped up to give the visitors the lead with a trademark curling shot from outside the box after 10 minutes.

Chile's English-born striker Ben Brereton equalised just over 10 minutes later when he sent a fine looping header over goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Argentina then took advantage of an injury to Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to seal the win 11 minutes before half time.

Bravo was preparing to be substituted when Rodrigo de Paul fired in a fierce drive from 30 metres, and with the goalkeeper only able to parry the shot Lautaro Martinez followed up to slot home the rebound.

The result was a huge blow to Chile's hopes of qualifying for Qatar. They are seventh, on 16 points, in the 10-team South American qualifying group with only three matches to play.

The top four qualify automatically and the fifth-placed team goes into a playoff with a side from the Asian confederation.

Leaders Brazil and second-placed Argentina have already qualified and Ecuador, who are third with 24 points, are almost certain to join them.