Heartbreak for Argentina as Messi misfires in shootout
Lionel Messi and squad have now lost the third consecutive final in a major tournament, the other two being World Cup 2014 in Brazil and Copa America 2015 in Chile, both almost coming in their own continent.
Exactly like the previous year, the game remained scoreless throughout the 120 minutes of play and the heads turned towards penalties for result. What made the night truly dramatic were the penalty shootout misses from both Lionel Messi and Arturo Vidal while Castillo, Aranguiz, Beausejour and Silva scored for Chile and Claudio Bravo made the crucial save to Biglia’s penalty after Mascherano and Aguero had scored for Argentina.
Argentina and Chile were taking on each other in the final for the second consecutive Copa America and the heat of the tie was evident from the very beginning.
There were flying tackles, hasty clearances and hard runs from each player on the field and all of it showed how much the trophy meant for them. So much was the temperature of the game that both Argentina and Chile lost a player each in the first half itself owing to aggressive challenges.
Diaz brought down Messi twice and saw a yellow each time making it a red for him. Just before the break, Rojo took down Vidal and received a straight red card for it. In the first minute of the match itself, Ever Banega had the first chance to put Argentina ahead but his shot went wide. Just 2 minutes later, Chile went rampant into the Argentinian half where Alexis Sanchez was brought down by Mercado.
The aggressive intent was so obvious from both sides that the next minute itself, Mauricio Isla took down Di Maria near the left corner of the Chilean side.
Argentina pressed well and owing to the same, Gary Medel made a terrible error at the back and lost the ball to Higuain, who being one on one with the keeper Claudio Bravo, shot the ball just wide. In an attempt to make sure the ball goes wide, Medel even hurt himself from the post.
Amongst all the heat, the first half also saw Lionel Messi get booked for diving. Many more bookings flew around with Vidal and Mascherano also seeing a yellow each for a confrontation between them.
It was a devastating night for Lionel Messi and the Argentinians as the fate showed its cruelty on them once again denying them the pleasure of holding the coveted trophy.
Messi and Argentina have only themselves to blame as the Chilean party continues from the last year to this day.