Argentina defeated Chile 2-1 on Thursday in their World Cup qualifier after Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez netted for the La Albiceleste at Estadio Municipal de Calama in Calama, Chile.
Argentina, who’ve already certified for Qatar, opted to relaxation Messi after his COVID-19 an infection but his Paris Saint Germain staff mate Di Maria stepped as much as give them the lead with a trademark curling shot from exterior the field after 10 minutes.
Chile’s English-born striker Ben Brereton equalised simply over 10 minutes later when he despatched a wonderful looping header over goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Argentina then took benefit of an damage to Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to seal the win 11 minutes earlier than half time.
Bravo was making ready to be substituted when Rodrigo de Paul fired in a fierce drive from 30 metres, and with the goalkeeper solely capable of parry the shot Lautaro Martinez adopted as much as slot dwelling the rebound.
“We knew it was going to be difficult at high altitude and after a long flight,” stated Di Maria. “The important thing is that we come away with a win.
“Everything is at all times a lot simpler when Leo is right here. The necessary factor is that we preserve working like we’ve been doing and bringing pleasure to Argentines.”
The end result, which was additionally achieved with out the presence of talismanic coach Lionel Scaloni, who was isolating at dwelling attributable to COVID-19, marks Argentina’s twenty eighth recreation with out defeat.
Brereton’s purpose was the primary towards Argentina in seven qualifiers.
“Today we were without the best in the world and our coach as well but we got the victory and this is also for them,” stated Di Maria.
The end result was an enormous blow to Chile’s hopes of qualifying for Qatar. They are seventh, on 16 factors, within the 10-team South American qualifying group with solely three matches to play.
The high 4 qualify mechanically and the fifth-placed staff goes right into a playoff with a facet from the Asian confederation.
Leaders Brazil and second-placed Argentina have already certified and Ecuador, who’re third with 24 factors, are virtually sure to hitch them.