The Argentine national team star, Lionel Messi, said that the match in which his country drew against Chile in the World Cup qualifiers was “special”, because it is the first match for Argentina, since the death of the legend, Diego Maradona, the former captain.
Maradona died at the age of 60 in November after suffering a heart attack.
Messi gave his country the lead from a penalty kick in the 24th minute of the match, but Alexis Sanchez equalized the result in favor of Chile, and prevented Argentina from occupying the first place in the group at the expense of Brazil.
Messi said: “It’s a special match because it’s the first game we’ve played since Maradona left.”
The Argentina national team has not played for more than six months, after two matches were postponed in March due to the Corona virus pandemic.
The referee awarded a penalty kick to Argentina, which the Barcelona playmaker successfully executed in the 24th minute, after his colleague Lautaro Martinez fell in the penalty area due to a foul by Guillermo Maripan.
After 12 minutes, the equalizer came through Sanchez.
Messi almost scored a second goal with a direct shot, had it not been for goalkeeper Claudio Bravos successful save in the extra time of the first half. His ball hit the crossbar in another attempt 10 minutes before the end of the match.
In other South American qualifiers, Colombia defeated Peru by three goals to zero in Lima.
In the absence of sanctioned Edison Cavani, Uruguay were satisfied with a 0-0 draw in Montevideo against Paraguay. Bolivia won 3-1 against Venezuela in La Paz.
South American teams will play another round of World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday and Wednesday before the Copa America on May 13 in Brazil.