Claudio Bravo thwarts Lionel Messi as Argentina are pissed off in World Cup qualifying

Claudio Bravo thwarts Lionel Messi as Argentina are pissed off in World Cup qualifying

Lionel Messi and Claudio Bravo have been teammates in a victorious Barcelona dressing room. However their careers are much more marked by moments that put them in opposition. Bravo was the Chile goalkeeper who emerged triumphant from penalty shootouts within the finals of the Copa America in 2015 and 16, each occasions denying Messi a senior title with Argentina. And on Thursday evening, when South America’s World Cup qualification resumed, they have been concerned in one other non-public duel.

First blood went to Messi, rolling residence a penalty. However after Alexis Sanchez had pulled Chile degree, the remainder of the evening belonged to Bravo.

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From the sting of the field Messi chipped an outstanding free kick over the wall. Bravo scrambled throughout his purpose to claw the ball away. Then Messi had one other free kick, getting it even nearer to the highest nook and clipped the bar. After which, within the closing levels Messi went trying to find victory. He lower in as soon as from the left and shot to the close to put up. Bravo dived to dam the shot. Messi lower in as soon as extra and aimed for the far nook. Bravo plunged proper to tip around the put up.

The 1-1 draw was a frustration for Argentina. They keep second within the desk — they are going to be overtaken within the unlikely occasion of an Ecuador win away to Brazil on Friday — however have solely scored three targets in two residence matches, and two of them have come from the penalty spot.

They have been not often troubled by an unambitious Chile team enjoying their first aggressive match below coach Martin Lasarte. Debutant keeper Emiliano Martinez had little to do aside from decide the ball out of the web when Chile equalised. Charles Aranguiz hit a free kick past the far put up, Gary Medel turned throughout the face and Alexis Sanchez did the remainder.

However within the northern city of Santiago del Estero, Argentina have been worryingly sterile. A few of this may occasionally absolutely be attributed to the lengthy layoff, with the gamers assembly up for the primary time since November and having little time to coach. There was additionally a slight change of formation. Coach Lionel Scaloni has been working with a midfield trio, however this time he fielded two wingers — Lucas Ocampos and the recalled Angel Di Maria – with Messi and centre ahead Lautaro Martinez, leaving simply two within the centre. It left them disjointed, though Di Maria flitted about curiously for an hour. He was the person behind the penalty, spilling the defence with a nice ball for Martinez, who was introduced down by Guillermo Maripan.

Lionel Messi and Claudio Bravo embrace on the remaining whistle. Juan Mabromata, Pool by way of AP

Messi’s penalty appeared to be placing Argentina on the street to a cushty residence win. As a substitute they have been held at residence, like Uruguay, who performed out a disappointing goalless draw with Paraguay.

With Edinson Cavani suspended, Uruguay coach Oscar Washington Tabarez had the possibility to maneuver away from his typical 4-4-2 formation — and shocked by going with three centre-backs. It was an odd possibility in opposition to very defensive opponents, content material to attend and hope to launch occasional bursts from Miguel Almiron. Paraguay performed a again 4 fully comprised of centre-backs and Uruguay discovered it onerous to play by way of or round them.

Uruguay have been very unfortunate to have a first-half purpose disallowed for a doubtful offside, and might take coronary heart from an encouraging debut from the most recent of their youth merchandise, playmaker Facundo Torres, who was vivid and creative, if a bit of over keen, when he got here on for the final half hour. He discovered area nicely and mixed with Luis Suarez, however the breakthrough by no means got here. The draw leaves each side behind the entrance three on seven factors, the place they’re joined by Colombia, who celebrated coach Reinaldo Rueda’s first match in cost with a morale boosting 3-Zero win away to Peru.

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It was a scrappy recreation till shortly earlier than half-time, when Peru did not take care of a free kick and gangling defender Yerry Mina took benefit to go residence. Then got here a flurry of exercise. Peru had left-back Miguel Trauco considerably harshly despatched off. Straight after the interval Colombia made them pay, Stefan Medina crossing from the area vacated by Trauco for Matheus Uribe to go the second. With Peru nonetheless reeling, Luis Diaz added a 3rd, earlier than, in his first motion since coming on, substitute Colombian right-back Daniel Munoz was despatched off in a call that additionally appeared extraordinarily harsh — a traditional case, maybe, of a referee making an attempt to compensate. The issue from Peru’s viewpoint was that the sport was already misplaced, and hopes of a second consecutive World Cup are wanting more and more bleak.

Peru have been unable to resume their squad. That is on no account the fault of coach Ricardo Gareca, who did splendidly nicely to take this group of gamers to Russia 2018. For the eighth consecutive 12 months no Peruvian membership has made it by way of to the knockout part of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s Champions League. There’s a dearth of recent expertise. The previous guard should stage a unprecedented rally if Peru are to make it to Qatar. They’ve only one level from 5 video games and, after Bolivia received the spherical underway with a 3-1 win over Venezuela, Peru are actually sadly rooted to the underside of the desk.

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