Lionel Messi on target as Argentina held by Chile in 2022 World Cup qualifier

Barcelona captain denied on numerous occasions by goalkeeper Bravo

Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw by Chile in their 2022 World Cup qualifier on Thursday, with Lionel Messi's penalty cancelled out by Alexis Sanchez.

Barcelona captain Messi slotted home the spot kick midway through the first half after Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez was brought down by Guillermo Maripan. The hosts' lead only lasted 12 minutes as Sanchez finished off a cut back from Gary Medel.

Messi could have grabbed his second and earned Argentina a lead with a curled free-kick, only for Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to make a superb save by tipping the ball around the post.

Messi also saw a free-kick come off the woodwork in the second half.

Argentina pushed forward as the game went on but Chile's defence stayed was solid, even without experienced holding midfielder Arturo Vidal, who missed out after contracting Covid-19.

Messi continued to push hard for Argentina's winner, but a number of his late shots could not find a way past Bravo.

The draw means Argentina are unbeaten at home against Chile in 35 matches, and have gone 12 games without defeat since losing to Brazil in the 2019 Copa America semi-finals.

"The positive aspect is that this team always stands up to be counted, tries to attack," Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni said. "[Chile] practically never created any chances."

Argentina are second in the 10-team South America qualifying group for Qatar 2022 with 11 points from five games, a point behind Brazil, who play Ecuador on Friday. Chile are sixth, with five points from five games.

The top four teams qualify automatically for Qatar while the fifth-placed side goes into an intercontinental play-off.

Colombia down Peru

Yerry Mina, centre, scored the first goal in Colombia's 3-0 win over Peru. EPA
Yerry Mina, centre, scored the first goal in Colombia's 3-0 win over Peru. EPA

Colombia got their second win in the qualifiers, a 3-0 victory at last-placed Peru.

Yerry Mina put the visitors ahead five minutes before the break and Peru's task became even harder when Miguel Trauco was sent off for a second yellow card offence on the stroke of halftime.

Mateus Uribe made it 2-0 just four minutes into the second half and Luis DIaz added a third six minutes later.

Colombia moved into sixth while Peru remain the only one of the 10 teams still to record a win.

Earlier in the day, Bolivia beat Venezuela 3-1 at home and Uruguay and Paraguay drew 0-0 in Montevideo.

Published: June 4, 2021 09:04 AM

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