(EFE) – A sensational performance by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo allowed Chile to rescue a 1-1 draw as a visitor against Argentina in a match valid for the seventh day of the South American qualifiers of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, played in the city of Santiago from the Estero.
Lionel Messi, from penalty, opened the score, while Alexis Sánchez sealed the final equality with both goals scored in the first stage.
After this result, the Albiceleste remains in the second position with eleven units behind the leader Brazil, while the Red is sixth with five points in the classification of the South American qualifiers.
Prior to the meeting, Argentina paid a heartfelt tribute to Diego Maradona, who died on November 25, 2020. A bronze statue inaugurated at the gate of the stadium and a jacket with the star’s photo on his chest marked an emotional prelude to the meeting.
The Mother of Cities Stadium in Santiago del Estero, which had its international premiere tonight, after this heartfelt recognition was the scene of an intense and disputed match that ended in a draw and with distribution of points.
Argentina started with more momentum with Rodrigo De Paul and Leandro Paredes dividing the midfield in search of assisting Lionel Messi, Ángel Di María, Lucas Ocampos and Lautaro Martínez.
For their part, those led by Martín Lasarte, who debuted in the qualifying rounds this Thursday with La Roja, adopted a more expectant position with the experience of Gary Medel on the baseline, Charles Aranguiz and Erick Pulgar to battle in the midfield and Alexis Sáchez with Eduardo Vargas to bring danger to the goal of the debutant Emiliano Martínez.
The speed of Vargas in connection with Alexis Sánchez had in the 13th minute a play that brought danger to the Albiceleste area but that Cristian Romero was able to intercept right with the cue.
At minute 22 of the first half, a deep ball for Lautaro Martínez found a tackle from Guillermo Maripán that the Venezuelan referee Jesús Valenzuela determined a penalty after consulting with the VAR.
Lionel Messi took the ball and with a crossed shot and with great quality defined the opening of the scoreboard.
However, Chile did not despair and brought out its best offensive weapons until in the 36th minute a center from Aranguiz found an arrival from Gary Medel, who tapped the ball to the center for the solo arrival of Alexis Sánchez to push the ball to network.
After that tie in the scoreboard came the best minutes of the visit that had Argentina in check to be able to go to the break in advantage.
However, in the 42nd minute, a Lionel Messi free kick to the upper left corner of the Chilean goal found a great clearance from Claudio Bravo, who was beginning to become the best player of the match.
In the second stage, Argentina took the ball and, despite the rotation on the bench, they did not have as many opportunities as their territorial supremacy would have meant.
Chile chose to retreat and look for counterattacks to try to win a visitor from Santiago del Estero.
Lionel Messi once again had a free kick that hit the crossbar and a classic play in his game from right to left with a left-footed shot that again demanded the appearance of Claudio Bravo.
Chile’s own goalkeeper had two other interventions before the end of this trans-Andean classic that distributed a point for each one.
Next Tuesday Argentina will visit Colombia in Barranquilla, while it will receive Bolivia in Santiago.
– Data sheet:
1. Argentina: Emiliano Martínez; Juan Foyth (m.81, Nahuel Molina), Cristián Romero, Lucas Martínez Quarta (m.46, Lisandro Martínez) and Nicolás Tagliafico; Lucas Ocampos (m.46, Ángel Correa), Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes (m.81, Exequiel Palacios) and Ángel Di María (m.61, Julián Álvarez); Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martínez.
Coach: Lionel Scaloni.
1. Chile: Claudio Bravo; Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Guillermo Maripán, Eugenio Mena; Charles Aranguiz (m.85, Tomás Alarcón), Erick Pulgar, Pablo Galdames (m.64, César Pinares); Jean Meneses, Eduardo Vargas (m.81, Carlos Palacios) and Alexis Sánchez.
Coach: Martín Lasarte.
Goals: 1-0, m.24: Lionel Messi, from a penalty. 1-1, m.36: Alexis Sánchez.
Referee: Venezuelan Jesús Valenzuela admonished Martínez Quarta, Cristian Romero, Galdames and Aranguiz.
Incidents: Match of the seventh date of the South American qualifying rounds of the Qatar 2022 World Cup played at the Madre de las Cities stadium in Santiago del Estero.