Guido Rodriguez scored in the 13th minute from a Messi assist to earn three points for Argentina; Chile beat Bolivia 1-0.
Argentina beat Uruguay 1-0 at Brasilia on Friday to register their first win of Copa America 2021. Captain Lionel Messi was once again the best player of the night and provided the assist for Guido Rodriguez’ winner. Uruguay on the other hand, who were playing their first match of the tournament had a mediocre performance. Oscar Tabarez’ side failed to register even a single shot on target. Meanwhile in the other match of the day Chile beat Bolivia 1-0 at Arena Pantanal.
One of the oldest rivalries in world football lacked the expected quality. That being said, Argentina fans will be happy with all three points. To top things off, Messi won the man of the match award.
Lionel Scaloni’s team started the match positively and got the deserving lead in the 13th minute.
Messi collected the ball from a corner on the left flank. From there, he dribbled his way past Lucas Torreira to deliver a superb cross to the far post. Real Betis player Rodriguez, who was making his first start since 2019, headed the ball in to make the score 1-0. It was his first goal in 11 appearances for Albiceleste.
First half was clearly dominated by Argentina. Messi cut inside from the right flank and forced a full stretch save from Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. Meanwhile, Lautaro Martinez missed the chance to score from the rebound.Two minutes after that, Christian Romero rose high to meet Rodrigo De Paul’s in-swinging cross from the left-side. But the header was comfortably saved by Muslera.
Six time Ballon d’Or Winner Messi was causing all sorts of problems for Uruguay with his solo runs. In the 26th minute, the 33-year-old collected the ball at the middle of the park and beat two defenders to dribble his way forward before setting up Nahuel Molina on the right side. However, the Udinese mans shot from outside the box was kept out by Muslera at the near post.
Eleven minutes from time, the Barcelona legend, once again made a superb run from the midfield, dribbling his way past two defenders before being brought down by Jose Gimenez just outside the penalty area. The subsequent free-kick was blocked.
Uruguay’s best chance of the match came in the 68th minute through Matias Vina’s cross. But both Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez failed to meet the teasing ball from the left flank. Argentina’s defence was very compact and therefore Uruguay were forced to go for the long rangers and spectacular attempts. Suarez’ bicycle kick from a cross went over the crossbar.
Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni would be happy to get the three points and move to the top of Group B level on points with Chile. However, he would be vary of the fact that they need to be more clinical up front and cannot afford to sit back and just defend with slender lead against more quality opponents if they are to have an extended run in the tournament.
Former champions Chile earned three points against Bolivia courtesy of Ben Brereton’s strike. The English-born footballer, who plays in the English championship scored the lone goal of the match in the 10th minute following a quick counter attack. Eduardo Vargas squared the ball to the 22-year-old, who calmly beat one defender with his first touch and then slotted the ball in the back of the net. It was his first international goal after making his debut in the 1-1 draw Argentina on Monday.
Chile were clearly the better side going into the break. If not for Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lampe, the lead would have been greater. Lampe made seven saves in the first half. Bolivia came out with a bit more intent in the second half but Chile managed to see off the pressure and earn their first win of the campaign.
Argentina will next face Paraguay on Tuesday whereas Chile will take on Uruguay on the same day.