Lionel Messi scores as Argentina draw 1-1 vs. Chile in World Cup qualifier


It was an emotional match for Lionel Scaloni’s team as they wore the national team shirt with a picture of Diego Maradona on the front, in honor of the late great player. Neither team was able to get the three points as two goals in the first half would cancel each other out.

Lautaro Martinez, who had little service in the first half, won Argentina a penalty. A lovely pass in by Angel Di Maria found the Inter man as he was tripped inside the penalty area.

The referee would go to VAR and would award Lionel Scaloni’s team the penalty. Up stepped Lionel Messi as he looked towards goalkeeper Claudio Bravo’s right but shot the opposite side into the bottom corner of the net to give Argentina the 1-0 lead.

Chile would draw level off a set piece. A free kick inside the penalty area would find a completely unmarked Medel who would score. Argentina would nearly take the lead once more off a Lionel Messi free kick but his effort was saved.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni made two changes at half time bringing in Lisandro Martinez for Quarta Martinez and Angel Correa for Lucas Ocampos. Quarta Martinez had picked up a yellow in the first half while Ocampos generally had a poor showing.

It was Chile starting the second half on the front foot and it wasn’t until Argentina’s third change where they began to play better. Julian Alvarez would get his national team debut as he came on for veteran Angel Di Maria.

Lionel Messi came close to scoring a second goal as his free kick hit the crossbar. A fourth substitute in Nahuel Molina for Juan Foyth followed with Scaloni going for a fifth as Exequiel Palacios was in for Leandro Paredes.

Argentina came closest to score near the end with a low Messi shot which was saved by Bravo but the Albiceleste’s couldn’t take advantage of the rebound. Messi had another effort which was saved by Bravo in the end.




  1. I completely disagree with kidulthood.. Argentina this team is in rebuilding process and they played after a long time..
    Really worst team in history?2002 wc team was a worst team in history..if you talk about the stats after jose pekarman scaloni is the first coach to win at la Paz .

      • Do you think only draws can take us to the Copa crown? Compare ourselves to Brazil and you would realize we are far from being competitive. Compare Scaloni to the Brazil coach. Everytime the best players are back from their club duties he knows how to position them well. Scaloni sticks to Ocampos and Martinez both of whom faded out in the last four months. Scaloni has no game plan B. Even Koeman of Barca had plans B and C, however ineffective that might be.

  2. While watching the game I noticed that during large spells there is no pressure on the opposition when they have the ball. Chile could walk and pass to our penalty box without anyone putting pressure on the player with the ball. I guess most of you regularly watch European clubs like Atletico and Bayern. Once they lose possession, they immediately put pressure on the opponent. We don’t do that. IMHO modern football does require that.

    In a way it confirms (for me) that this Copa is a must win for us. A European team will once again win the WC.

    • Fully agree with your observation. If the team is trying to protect themselves from injury keeping Copa in mind, then it is ok. If not then it is beyond my comprehension why the players are not chasing. It was anyway a Messi vs Bravo game.

  3. Some of the guys here should calm down.

    Usual ultra reactionary takes after a loss.
    Remember Spain lost their first game in 2010, and France were ordinary along the build up to 2014.

    National team football is not like club level. It is not correct to expect high tempo, free flowing domniating football from people who don’t play together regularly.

    Let’s up keep the faith. Yes this is not the greatest team in history of mankind. There are plenty of flaws. But Scaloni has picked up all the correct players for now. We need to wait for them to click.

    Try to enjoy the football. After a long time we are able to see national team playing, don’t ruin your mood by having unrealistic expectations.


  4. This was a mediocre all-round game for Argentina. Argentina is on the same level as Paraguay, Chile, Ecuador etc. Even the current Ecuadorian team is better than this Argentina NT. Guys stop kidding yourself because this Argentina NT team setup is only regressing instead of progressing. Too many overrated players being hailed as the next big thing on this forum. What has Scaloni done to improve this team with so many games under his belt since 2018? I mean, the whole point of a coach is to get his team to play good intelligent football. The Argentina NT playing style is horrible and the execution going forward is incoherent because the team does not have world class midfielders, LB and RB in their respective position. Scaloni is just looking to get a result in order to hold onto a coaching job he has no business doing. The job of a coach is to improve his overall team which Scaloni hasn’t done so why do so many people make excuses for him? Why don’t the AFA just give Gallardo a long term coaching contract before he is snatched up by a European club? Instead of fixing the problem the AFA wants to put a bandaid on it which is Scaloni. Lo Celso should have started against Chile everyone cries, yea, did Argentina win against Paraguay with Lo Celso in the starting eleven? Stop covering up for Scaloni’s poor managerial ability. Moreover, Lo Celso is not as good as how some make him out to be.

    Di Maria and Messi were the only threat going forward against Chile. The problem with Argentina is that when Di Maria is in the attacking third, like on the opponent 18 yard box, nobody is overlapping to receive the pass in behind the Chilean defense. So Di Maria has to always take on the defender one v one (which is not always guaranteed) or pass the ball back to Messi on the top of the Chilean 18 yard box.

    The only key pass of the game came from Di Maria and it led to a penalty. And yes, it was a penalty. The Chilean defender thought he was in between the ball and Lautaro Martinez then he realized Lautaro flew by him with his pace and strength. The Chilean defender then panics and blindly lashed out in desperation, he missed the ball with his out stretched leg but it was his trailing leg that took down Lautaro. The only thing that could have prevented this situation from not being a PK is if the Chilean defender’s outstretched leg had touched the ball. It was clearly a pk, you can’t lashed out in your own 18 yard and not expected to be punished.

    At club level, Di Maria has world class players bombing up and down the left side and the right side of the pitch, and even sometimes you have Mbappe overlapping to receive the pass from Di Maria. Who on the Argentina national team does this when they’re in the attacking third? It rarely happens so this left Di Maria all by himself. What is the point of Di Maria having the ball when he is on the touchline then constantly passing the ball back in the middle of the pitch where the opponent have all its protection? This is not the case in PSG. And it’s the same for Messi, the players on this current Argentina national team is not the same quality he’s use to at club level. Not here to defend Di Maria, but he did not have a bad game especially he was solid in the first half. The team was lacking continuity too which affect the overall game. In CONMEBOL qualifiers experience is a huge plus. There is no midfielder on this current team who is close to good as Lucas Biglia let alone Masche, Banega, Gago, Augusto, Pastore, Guinazu, Enzo Perez etc.

    The current pool of players can’t make consistent precise passes in close proximity around the opponent’s 18 yard box while retaining the ball under pressure.. This is what keeps the opposing team on the back foot. Argentina right now can’t compete with the best national teams in the world right now. 2012 – 2014 Argentina played great football, some ugly moments here and there but the team had a plan and was consistent. Compared to now, the situation is bleak, too many mid table club players and not enough players competing deep into the UCL season after season. This is the worst Argentina generation in decades. When you step on a pitch with the likes of Chile and Paraguay your players are supposed to have bigger football profiles not equal ( with the exception of Messi and Di Maria) and below compared to their players.

    Argentina should have boycotted the Copa America tournament. You’re not winning Copa America in Brazil, not with this team, so why roll over and just go along with the decision made by CONMEBOL? The AFA should have stood their ground, it’s either Chile or the United State or we are sitting this one out. Brazil postponed the earlier qualifiers and the AFA couldn’t do anything about it. The AFA needs to show their strength in the region just like Brazil even if they have more money to bribe officials like referees and board members. The Brazilian president needs a lifeline and he sees Brazil winning Copa America as rescuing him politically. So this cup is already in Brazil’s hands..You have to be naive to think Brazil is losing a Copa America being hosted by them during political unrest. I mean, this happened during the 2013 Confederation Cup in which the Brazilian people were protesting the inhumane conditions the workers had to go through in order to be ready for the 2014 world cup.

    • well said bro; we have to realistic with the team; don’t expect high.
      this is the team we have to support which will be playing at WCQ and Copa. Hope for the best

    • Cool Buddy,, don’t write an essay.. this Arg NT is performing good.. i accept we need some creative midfielders which is now lacking at the current squad.. but this team team is collectively showing good performance..

      Plz don’t compare this team with Chile or Ecuador… we play football, they play rugby in football pitch.
      Always heads up, love albiceleste

    • We don’t need a 5 page essay! If you don’t support then move along. For me it’s Argentina til death. That’s it, I support regardless.

      Love from Canada to all Argentina fans!

      And I need that Diego jersey

    • Nice to see some valuable contributors come back.
      I tend to agree with you, Kid. However, I do think we have one world class midfielder: Papu Gomez. During his time with Atalanta he time and again proved to be a world class assist king and goal scorer.

    • This guy lost the plot since post world Cup lost in 2014. Used to be good poster now moan about last generation. You cannot keep them forever. Di-Maria lucky enough to be in the team still for now. Yes we are building and we will build whatever we had. Also Argentina never had 11 players from UCL team. We had players from small club even from Argentina league and we used to thrive. You gotta understand that WORK IS IN PROGRESS. Rome wasn’t built in one-day buddy

    • This midfield is way better than that in 2014. We have paredes lo celso RDP, Buendia, Guido, Ocampos, Dominguez, Joaquin correa, A Correa, ADM Papu. Why would you even think that?

    • Fantastic write up. You are SPOT ON with Di Maria. Very well put.

      After the Di Maria part, i don’t agree. We have good to great midfielders. Of course missing masche and banega but we do have better attack minded midfielders with Lo Celso, De Paul, Dominguez, and Palacios as a core. i feel great about them.

      And the last part about Paraguay being better – come on amigo, that hyperbolic, they are obviously no where near us.

  5. Guys Licha and romero were great today but should we play Licha againts colombia ??..up against zapata and muriel ..specially with their strength and yerry minas height at set peices i think not..romero should definetly start but maybe we partner him with palomino up against their fellow atalanta strikers muriel and zapata ?? or otamendis experience could also help against those two ..

  6. I think it’s time for Dybla to be included in place of Di Maria. In last Copa match against Chile Argentina was performing good, and in match vs Uruguay,Argentina also did well,in those match Messi Dybla partnership was good.

  7. Hi all. Long time since I was here especially with drought in national football. Hope everyone is well.

    Fun to see the national team back in action after so long. At a high level, after such a long break it was not surprising to see the team so rusty. Probably why we saw Scaloni go back to his old habits, showing many of the tendencies he has in the past namely –

    Playing a sort of a 3.5 kind of a back line – not a four or a three but something in the middle. We have actually seen it many times in the past. Because he recognizes we continue to have no threat on the left wing he tries to push up the full back there more to try and create something, and because he is afraid of conceding from Messi’s channel he keeps a more defensive full back there. Generally I don’t have a problem with this as an idea but its possible Acuna is a better option for such a strategy as a more natural offensive player than Tagliafico.

    His second tendency is his obsession with width – remember the early teams with Cervi, Pereyra, Meza, Pavon etc on the wing to stretch as much as possible. Here he came out with Ocampos and DiMaria to try similar things with both players pressed so high up the midfield was completely isolated. Though it was a draw the game was essentially ‘lost’ here. Unless messi was dropping deep the only option was for Depaul to carry the ball almost 30 – 40 yards through the circle, especially in the first half. This midfield really cannot exist without DePaul. Even though his final third link up play was not great, he is the engine. But yes, the presence of a third midfielder was sorely missed especially on the left to assist the LB. It is a surprise since Scaloni’s better games have come with three in the middle rather than a double pivot – remember the v Chile 3rd place game or the Uruguay game – and with a narrower forward line (where he used three out of messi, dybala, lautaro, aguero) When the ball is driven wide we just are not setup for it because Lautaro Martinez is not the right striker for it and also because the no 8’s cannot crash the box to create mismatches along with the forwards on cutbacks as it leaves Paredes in isolation.

    To Scaloni’ s credit he did see the Chileans use a 5-4-1 defensively to negate our width. Especially them using Menenses in a purely defensive role to nullify width and he took out Ocampos for Angelito to attack the middle. In fact when Angelito was introduced, he carried his atletico season form with him and the final ball play in zone 14 (right outside the opponent box) started looking more threatening with lautaro now being able to squeeze more space and run directly at defense. Generally Scaloni has been good in half time changes but I think a true midfielder was what required right from the start. Of course team rustiness was also a factor in weakness in scripted plays in the final third. In fact I think we had zero threats inside the box. All the shots we had were from outside – I counted maybe 4 for depaul, two for messi and one or two from the other guys. Yes a team without width is easier to defend but it is our strength and I would like to see us start to our strength more. You can sub a wide man later when defenses are tired.

    Another aspect of the game which I have highlighted and actually observe for years (longer than before scaloni) is that our national team is dogshit in set pieces. Both offensively (not counting any messi direct free kick magic) and defensively. It cannot be that these players are not good at it – they almost all play in Europe where there is a high level of coordination in set piece design. It is an artifact of argentine football emphasis. Anyone who watches the primera liga knows about this. But modern football cannot ignore this – remember England’s 2018 world cup where they were average at everything other than set pieces. It has been apparent for a long time we do not focus on this in training. Unlike ball skill and touch which cannot be developed in three day international camps, set piece is actually one thing that can easily be worked on as it is a tactic of design and communication in offense and defense and not of natural skill.

    For individuals, I am happy many deserving players got their debuts – standout of course was Romero – MotM for me (for player not named Messi) I think his yellow card was a bit harsh. Alvarez was also a good introduction allowing more structure in defense and definitely a lot more decisive in movement and ball play on the wing than DiMaria. Of course el fideo got the penal assist, and had some nice skilled touches on the ball, but its hard to see his idea in the collective scheme. Though lisandro was not a debut technically it was good to see him back. Our back line did not look very confident in playing out against a fairly weak chilean press. Normally scaloni has used otamendi often in the past as the ball playing CB. It seems Martinez Quarta who was supposed to help here has lost his mojo a bit – probably from an average Serie A season and also because he doesn’t play that well on the right. In any case, lisandro is a better ball player if you need a profile like that. Molina got his debut. A lot of fans gave him good praise. I will hold my opinion for now. He did well offensively sure, but it was at a stage of the game where Chile were happy to sit back for a draw (possibly also why Scaloni put him on to add more wide pressure. but again when we get to the by line we have no ideas, but enough of a dead horse…). His test will really be in a more open game in the future where defensive skills will be more important.

  8. Match Review
    The performance wasn’t the worst, but we can improve on so many aspects.There were bright side but there should be more than just that. Argentina dominated with the ball but without the man there wasn’t any big threats, Di Maria, Ocampos performed poorly.

    Player Ratings
    Emi Martinez – Had very little things to do, but did it well, nothing to do with Chile’s goal, the set piece wasn’t defended properly. 5.5 out of 10

    Juan Foyth – He was good on the ball, composed and does make good passes, but going forward, he isn’t the natural fullback you need, the overlap runs and crosses I don’t think Foyth is the best option for that, he wasn’t bad today.But he did give away that freekick. 5 out of 10
    Cristian Romero – Probably the best defender for Argentina rn, I was so pleased seeing him perform like we all wanted, if paired with a proper centre back, he will be so good man.
    8 out of 10
    Martinez Quarta – I thought he was really a proper centreback, but I am disappointed, he was really good back at River Plate, after moving to Fiorentina I don’t know what’s happened with him.
    4.5 out of 10
    Nicolas Tagliafico – Hardly contributed anything to our attack, passings were a bit sloppy at times, I would like to see Acuna get some more chances now.
    5 out of 10
    Leandro Paredes – He was dispatching good and accurate passes, did look a little nervous at times, will get better with time.
    6.5 out of 10
    Rodrigo De Paul – His work ethics are admirable, needs to get better on the final third, overall he was good. Did sent some howlers on long shots tho..
    6.5 out of 10
    Lucas Ocampos – Below average, attacks were wasted from him.
    3 out of 10
    Angel Di Maria – Gave away possesion many times, wouldn’t mind seeing him benched.Some good passes at times from him.
    4 out of 10
    Lautaro Martinez – Needed to create more chances from, he was determined and worked hard, and ofc Penalty came from him, was fould often drawed more players with hold up play, satisfied but, would’ve loved to see him score.
    7 out of 10
    Leo Messi – He was at his best, unlucky not to have the hat-trick.
    8.5 out of 10

    were good from Scaloni, specially Molina, Alvarez and Palacios.

    Scaloni – He did a bit experimentation? no? his subs were good,
    6.5 out of 10

    We will do better let’s hope so

  9. chile is no nonsense team.. in unity they plays well today but argentina wasn’t too bad gon
    7. j.correa . a correa

    this are young important player for the team who is currently in squad..

  10. Lisandro and Romero pairing is making me dream. Brilliant combination of aggressiveness,composure , speed, strength and technique

  11. Okay here is my review of the match. And to start it right off, was it a good performance? No. And from what it looks like I can put that down to two things: Chemistry and nervousness. Chile looked a lot more comfortable and have a more stable team, whereas today we have had four debuts on top of many changes over the past year. This is no cause for alarm in my opinion. We are blessed to have two games before Copa AND a longer group stage to get things together. This game was good to test new players and get the group together after many months. Here are my opinions on some individual players:

    Emi Martinez: To be honest I was expecting more in terms of shots faced but he had hardly anything to do. The goal from Chile I put no blame on him as he was left alone and it was poorly defended from the team. So solid but no proper saves. In distribution though, he was great. Perfect passes and he deals very well with pressure. A couple of times I thought the ball would go out but he passed it perfectly to someone.

    Foyth: The controversial one. I am scared to say anything because no matter what I will anger someone but I will say it anyway. He is good in vertical passes and did defend the ball well sometimes, but obviously conceded the free kick for no reason which gave us a draw. He is not a natural right back and I do not think he was meant for a game against Chile, more so Brazil. Some say this is to be expected because it was a line of three, and the official formation has changed on my phone so I have no idea, it looked like a line of three though at many times. He also made a mistake in passing the ball once that could have ended badly.

    Paredes: Not a very good game. If I remember correctly there was none of those great passes he makes at PSG from long distance. If anything he was a little shaky at times. But no need to drop him we have seen him have good performances before and he came to the spotlight in the Copa America specifically.

    Romero: Very good performance, as totally expected. Classic Romero getting a yellow card though. He better be careful because later on in Copa it can be detrimental if he is suspended.

    Di Maria: The headless chicken things make sense. He looses the ball after trying to dribble. I wish he would try to be more creative because he has it in him to assist but I did not really see him do any of that. I prefer him as a bench option.

    Ocampos: He is good in terms of tiring the opposition and being a workhorse but he can not cross the ball or doing anything very meaningful. I am sure when Gonzalez is back he will start.

    De Paul: Not the best performance ever but not bad at all, he is constantly on the ball and did what he had to do. People question his ability to make a difference in the final third but it is a tactical sacrifice from Scaloni to use him deeper and there is no way we would build a team around him like Udinese do. He is important to the way we played and was one of the better players today.

    Alvarez: I was shocked when I saw this substitution at first because I thought it was a sacrifice way too early in the game to appease the media but I was happy to see him play pretty well. Do I think his call up to the team came too early? Yes, I would prefer him as a sub23 player for now. But I think he is very intelligent and has a great future ahead of him. I like watching him at River. He did nothing wrong or bad so as to critique him, but it does make you wonder what would have happened if Buendia also played.

    Molina: Very limited minutes but happy that Scaloni chose a debut right now at the end of the game. He played well and as opposed to Foyth was dangerous in attack. He also seemed confident and I think that was needed in this game. He did get subbed off for Foyth but I think Foyth in a back three and him at wingback might be interesting to see, although I think a back three was too big of a tactical difference for the team today. Great energetic and involved player to have.

    Correa: Funny enough my app mistakenly has it that JOAQUIN correa came on. Not true. ANGEL was good though but I did not see or remember too much so as to add more commentary than that.

    Palacios: Again a small sample size but from the little I remember he was good. Let’s just pay attention to the fact that he is FIT ALREADY. Bayer Leverkusen… they had him at two months and Afa said “no” and called him up and got him fit way ahead of schedule. What a miracle, when his injury news came out I thought it was a disaster. I don’t know if Leverkusen did this on purpose or if he recovered well unexpectedly or what but I am pretty suspicious of them.

    Lisandro: Great performance as a sub and provided much more security after Quarta’s yellow card. I don’t care if he is short, I trust him nearly as much as I do Romero. Happy to finally see them as a duo as I have been dreaming for a while. Quarta I am nervous to see more of. He has some good qualities but simply put he is in bad form and went from being player of the month to benched at his club.

    Also: We REALLY missed Lo Celso and Gonzalez. It can only get better from here. I am surprised to not see Acuna play as well

    • Good & realistic player ratings review Olive.
      Agree with you that nothing to worry & team will only improve from now. The big plus point is that Scaloni played Emi , Romero & even Licha. Positivity from coach in player selection & substitution was good to see.
      I personally feel the criticism on DiMaria & Tagli is stretched . They should continue while Dimaria is not a 90min player & hoping to see Buendia in 2nd half vs Colombia.
      IMO the only areas to improve is :
      1) we need to commit more players in final 3rd while attacking. Somewhere it looked like goal scoring is only Messi & Lautaro’s job. When Nico G & LoCelso get back this will be addressed for sure.
      2) While i was happy with DePaul , i wish Parades to face some competition with Guido in coming match.

  12. How many games had Martinez quarta and Romero played for Argentina? How many?

    How much experience does this midfield have without their regular partner lo celso?. Scaloni tried something new today keeping in mind about the Colombia game and the absence of crucial players.

    Calm down guys ……..just calm down.

    Why so harsh?

  13. Is there any rule that any river or boca player should be on the team, dont know much about alvarez but buendia shoud have came in for dimaria.

  14. Acuna should play next match.I like Argentina defence,Mollina also played good if Molina goes to Right Back then Foyth should come to Center Back role. C. Romero,Foyth on CB position looks more secured.Lisandro Martinez was also good he knows how to defend and his positioning inside the box is very good. Tagliafico one thing is sure he can not run with the ball flanks should be used for carrying the ball forward but Tagliafico just want to pass the ball he was scared to carry the ball forward. He has small club player mentality.Acuna is better than Tagliafico. Tagliafico never had competition both in country and in club that is why he did not grow his game.

    • “Small club player mentality” What the heck does this mean? He plays at a big club there is no such thing as a small club mentality. There is a confident mentality, positive mentality, nervous mentality, or bad attitude mentality.

      • Whatever Tagliafico should be out. I do not see anything in him except game vs Brazil in Saudi Arabia.

        • Taglafico is a better defender. Acun~a is better crossing the ball. They are about equal, it comes to the coaches preference. Taglafico is also one of the leaders in the team, he is second to Messi for the captains armband. That matters.

  15. 1)So many overrated players :a) Tagliafico b)martinez quarta c) Angel correra
    2)Tagliafico is a below average player. Can not defend, Can not sprint.No improvement in last 3 years
    3)Romero is must. Need another partner with him.
    4)Argentine Right backs are much better than left back. Foyth, molina both
    5)Need more chemistry, understanding in the team
    6)Ocampos had bad game but he should get one more chance because he performed well before.But as a sub. ​
    7)Di maria – ok.
    8)Scaloni need to concentrate on mid field. May be he should use palacios, buendia or lo celso instead of ocampos .
    9)No understanding between messi and lautaro matrinez
    10)Sabella introduced fantastic 4(Messi, di maria, higuain, Aguero). They had good understanding. But here i cant see same understanding between. Lautaro, messi, ocampos, di maria. Still messi and di maria have some understanding because they played together before.
    11)Two changes needed in next match. Tagliafico out acuna in
    Ocampos out buendia in.

  16. Chile played for draw, but the lack of goal is worrying. Whether its friendlies, qualifier or Copa , we just stuck at 1 goal or 2 goals at max and its usually from spotkick.

    Emi should start all the time from now on.

    The forwards needs to take more direct approach rather than trying to play it cute with too much passes.

  17. This team playing like a warriors,, really i like this team.. Di maria & Correa played brilliant,, inspite Di maria fitness concern, scaloni should have given another 10 more minutes to stretch his legs before substitution.. Di maria well combined with Messi & lautaro.
    Fan favourite De paul is awesome box to box player with wonderful first touch.

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