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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ(SMI-GLOBAL-SPORTS-CONMEBOL COPA-AMERICA USA 2024)-World#1,(FIFA) & 2020 Copa America defending champion " Argentina " defeated Chile 1-0, in Group A, with Lautaro Martinez scoring the winning goal late in the 2nd half and during a sold-out game of 81,106 fans in attendance at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

With the win, Argentina who also is known as " La Albiceleste" added 6-points in the standings and became the first team to advance to the knockout stage with one game remaining in the group stage competition.

A showdown match between two great teams that have history competing in the Copa America tournament specially when they both met back-to-back in the final championship in 2015 & 2016, with Chile defeating Argentina in penalty shots in both finals and winning both Copa America titles.

Argentina who is the current Copa America champion went to the attack from the start and controlled the midfield most of the first half but only have two clear opportunity of goal when Messi shot wide from 30-yards away missing the right goalpost at 35' mark and forward Julian Alvarez shot a cannon left-footed from just outside the top of the 18' that went over the crossbar to send both teams to the locker-room scoreless at the half.

In the second half, " La Albiceleste " picked-up where they off and kept the pressure with consecutive offensive attacks in search of the goal. 

During a counter-attack through the middle Lionel Messi on the run passed the ball inside the penalty box to Molina shot a hard right-footed but it was saved by Chile's goalkeeper Bravo and cleared out bounds by defender Gabriel for a corner kick at 49' mark. 

Ten minutes later in another offensive attack, Messi crossed a pass to left-side field to forward Nicolas Gonzales who ran inside the 18' and shot a right footed cannon deflecting off goalkeeper Bravo's gloves and hitting the crossbar back onsite the field for another sensational saved by Bravo at 60' mark of the second half.

Chile answered back with two consecutive counter-attacks as well, one when Mauricio Isla ran inside the penalty box through the right-side field corner and crossed the ball back to defender Rodrigo Echeverria who kicked a hard right-footed but it was saved by the Argentina's goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez at 72' mark and 3' minute later, Isla once again centered the ball inside the 18', deflecting off an Argentine's defender Lisandro Martinez back to Echeverria who shot a right-footed but again but it was saved by Martinez at 75' mark. 

With the game-clock winding down, Lionel Messi kicked a corner kick from the right-side field inside the penalty box finding Lisandro Martinez who headed it to goal but it was kicked by Giovanni Lo Celso on the goal-line bouncing-off Goalkeeper Bravo back to Igor Lichnovsky who failed to clear and Lautaro Martinez shot a right-footed to the upper-left goal post corner to scored the winning goal at 87' mark, and secure the 1-0, victory for Argentina over Chile. 

Article & Photo by Marcello Cutti II/Starlight Illustrated


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