Lionel Messi’s exquisite free-kick grabbed headlines on day two of the 47th edition of Copa America. However, the two-time world champions failed to pick up three points as a second-half goal from Eduardo Vargas helped Chile clinch a draw. Meanwhile, Paraguay came back from a goal down to beat Bolivia in the second game. Angel Romero struck a brace to steer his side towards three points.
Here’s a recap of both the matches from the second matchday of Copa America 2021.
ARG vs CHI
It was a tale of two set-pieces at Olympic Stadium on Tuesday. Messi gave Argentina the lead from a free-kick, while Vargas equalized from a rebound off Arturo Vidal’s missed penalty. Claudio Bravo was the busiest of both the goalkeepers in the first half. He kept out Nicolas Gonzalez’s effort from the edge of the box and denied him again a few minutes later. But, in the 33rd minute, Messi curled a superb free-kick into the corner of Bravo’s net. It was a moment of brilliance from the Argentine magician.
In the early minutes of the second half, Chile appealed for a penalty after Nicolas Tagliafico impeded Vidal inside the box. The referee, with the help of video assistant referees, found the Argentine defender guilty and awarded the spot-kick. Emiliano Martinez pulled off a brilliant save to deny Vidal’s penalty, but Vargas headed the rebound into the empty net. Argentina created plenty of chances as Gonzalez, who timed his run to perfection to receive a sumptuous pass from Messi, sent a header over the bar. With four minutes left, Angel Di Maria saw his attempt deflected for a corner.
Goalscorers: ARG (L Messi); CHI (E Vargas Rojas)
Top Five Fantasy Points scorers: L Messi (12.5 points), E Martinez (12 points), E Vargas Rojas (11.5 points), N Otamendi (5 points), C Bravo M (4.5 points)
PAR vs BOL
Angel and Alejandro Romero combined to set up a 3-1 win for Paraguay against Bolivia. The two-time Copa America winners attacked right from the whistle, and Santiago Arzamendia saw his long-range attempt tipped over by Bolivia goalkeeper Ruben Cordano in the opening minute. But it was Bolivia who took the lead. Arzamendia handled the ball inside, and the referee pointed to the spot following a lengthy review of the incident. Erwin Saavedra converted the penalty to put Bolivia ahead in the tenth minute.
Alejandro had a glorious opportunity to square the game before half-time. Arzamendia’s low cross from the left fell perfectly for Alejandro, but he somehow scuffed wide. Meanwhile, Bolivia ended the half with ten men after striker Jaume Cuellar received his second yellow card.
Paraguay leveled the game at the hour mark courtesy of a fine left-footer from Alejandro. He pounced on a loose ball and unleashed a cracking shot towards the goal from outside the box. It didn’t take them long to grab the lead. Gonzalez Espinola, who replaced Robert Piris in the second half, saw his goal-bound header saved by the Bolivian custodian, but Angel slotted home the rebound. The 28-year-old made it 3-1 and completed his brace courtesy of a simple finish in the 80th minute.
Goalscorers: PAR (Alejandro R, Angel R ); BOL (E Saavedra)
Assists: G Avalos Stumpfs
Top Five Fantasy Points scorers: Angel R (22 points), Alejandro R (15.5 points), E Saavedra (11.5 points), G Avalos Stumpfs (7.5 points), M Almiron (6.5 points)