December 16, 2017
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Di María scores as Argentina beat Chile

Ángel Di María #7 of Argentina celebrates after he scored a goal against Chile during the 2016 Copa America Centenario Group match play between Argentina and Chile at Levi''s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Argentina shrugged off the absence of Lionel Messi to beat Chile 2-1 in the Copa America, with an emotional Ángel Di María scoring the opening goal and dedicating it to his grandmother, who passed away before the game.

With Messi watching from the sidelines due to a back injury, Di María put the 14-times champions ahead early in the second half before Ever Banega doubled their lead shortly after. Jose Pedro Fuenzalida pulled a goal back for Chile in injury time.

In the other Group D game, played earlier on Monday, Panama beat Bolivia 2-1.

Argentina posed a constant threat with fast sweeps forward and Di María capitalised on one such attack after 50 minutes, running on to a pass from Banega to slot home from eight yards.

"We've been doing things properly for years now and maybe this year it will come right," said Di Maria, who broke down in tears after dedicating his goal to his grandmother.

Argentina doubled their lead eight minutes later in similar fashion, this time Di María feeding Banega in the same position on the left and his deflected drive beat Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo at his near post.

"If you make mistakes in these games you pay a high price and that is what happened today," Bravo said in a televised interview after the game in Santa Clara.

Second-half substitute Erik Lamela twice came close to adding to Argentina's lead but it was Chile who got the third goal of the game thanks to a mistake from Sergio Romero.

The Argentine goalkeeper, who had an otherwise excellent game, misjudged a free kick in the box and Fuenzalida nodded the ball into an empty net.

The result gives Argentina, who are seeking their first major title since lifting the Copa America in 1993, a measure of revenge for their defeat to Chile in last year's Copa America final.

Also in Group D, veteran striker Blas Pérez scored twice as Panama beat Bolivia.

Perez scored his first after 10 minutes when he slid in to push home a cross from 10 yards out before Juan Carlos Arce tied the score eight minutes into the second half.

Pérez grabbed the winner three minutes from time.

Panama next play Argentina on Friday while Chile face Bolivia.

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Tags:  Argentina  Chile  Copa America  Ángel Di María  Lionel Messi  US  

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