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Messi Misses Penalty As Chile Beat Argentina 4-2 On Penalties To Defend Copa America Title

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missed a decisive penalty as Chile beat 4-2 on penalties to defend their Copa America title at the MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Argentina failed to end their 23-year-old title drought as Lionel Messi failed to deliver from the spot kick as he fired the ball way over the bar and into the stands.

Lucas Bigila was the other Argentinian player who missed from the spot as his right footed shot saved was acrobatically saved by Claudio Bravo at the bottom left corner.

Francisco Silva scored the winning penalty with a a right footed shot to the bottom left corner as Chile maintained their domination over Argentina in the continental competition. The men in blue failed to hold on their nerves as they dropped a third successive major tournament final!

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In a highly physical contest, both the teams pushed the tempo right from the kick-off. In a fight for possession, Chile showed some early sparks but Argentina offered them no space inside the box. Both Argentina and Chile pressed high up the pitch with an intent to scoop out some space in the opposition box.

Argentina pushed more bodies forward with an intent to take an early lead and almost open the account right after kick-off but Banega’s thunderous strike from 25 yards went inches wide off the far post.

The men in blue won a free-kick in the 15th minute as Lionel Messi was hacked to ground by Diaz. Messi whipped in a left footed shot from 30 yards but Bravo judged the flight and the ball fell straight into his arms.

Chile immediately replied with a spectacular move down the left wing in the 20th minute. A clever build up picked Fuenzalida inside the area. The winger tried to pass it across the goal but the strong Argentina back-line managed to keep it out.

Gonzalo Higuain had a golden chance to put Argentina ahead in the 21st minute. Gary Medel fumbled at the back which allowed Higuain to get on the end of a back-pass. The striker rushed clean through on goal and chipped the ball over the keeper but it went inches wide of the far post.

Argentina maintained the pressure on the Chilean defense and had another opportunity to open the account in the 24th minute but Otamendi’s header from the centre of the box went inches wide to the right.

Chile were down to ten men in the 28th minute when Diaz was shown the second yellow for obstructing the path of a surging Messi, who eventually dropped down to the ground.

Argentina worked the ball all over the pitch and looked to threaten down the flanks but they couldn’t capitalise upon their numerical advantage as they lacked the finishing in the final third.

However the men in blue didn’t enjoy the numerical advantage for long as Marcos Rojo was shown the red card for a tackle on Vidal in the 43rd minute, which led to a tussle between the players but the referee did well to clear off the situation.

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Both the teams were down to ten men and it was a battle in the midfield after the restart as the players didn’t spare an inch of space near the box.

Chile had a chance to open the account right after the half-time in the 49th minute. Sanchez got on the end of a cross before knocking it into the centre for Vargas. Vargas had a clear sight on goal but a tussle between Vargas and Mercado earned Argentina a free-kick in the defensive-half.

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Messi triggered some incredible runs down the middle but he couldn’t penetrate the Chilean defense as he was tightly marked and hacked down to the ground on numerous occasions. The star had his chances from free-kicks but he couldn’t deliver from distance.

arg 2Chile looked more prominent and grew in stature in the dying minutes of the game. They rushed in down the flanks with Sanchez and Vargas taking the charge on numerous occasions to pose problems for the Argentinian defense.

Chile dominated possession in the last quarter and almost put the game to bed in the 80th minute but a spectacular save from Sergio Romero denied them of a golden chance. Sanchez launched a diagonal ball over the top to pick Vargas who rushed through the wing to get on the end of it before launching a right footed shot from a difficult angle which was comfortably saved by Romero.

Sergio Aguero received a pass over the top in the 84th minute and deceived Zara to get into space but his right footed effort was high and went wide to the right.

Chile had the last chance in the fag end of the regulation time but Funes Mori made a crucial intervention to deny Sanchez inside the six-yard box.

Neither side were able to break the deadlock within the regulation time and match headed towards extra-time.

Chile launched a dangerous conter-attack in the 99th minute and Puch picked Vargas in the centre with a spectacular cross. Vargas got on the end of the cross but his header from the centre of the box was saved by Romero in the top left corner.

Just minutes later Claudio Bravo jumped in the air and went full-stretch to knock out Aguero’s looping header from the centre of the box towards the top left corner.

Both the teams battled hard in the 2nd half of the extra-time and had a few half chances but they lacked the finishing on the final ball, forcing the match to be decided on penalties.

Arturo Vidal was the only Chilean player to miss a penalty as his right footed shot was saved by Romero at the bottom right corner. For Argentina it was their star man Lionel Messi who fired the ball way over the bar and into the stands. Mascherano and Aguero found the net but Argentina’s hopes ended when Lucas Bigila’s right footed shot saved was acrobatically saved by Claudio Bravo at the bottom left corner. Francisco Silva scored the winning penalty with a a right footed shot to the bottom left corner

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