Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Argentina 2 - Chile 1

Santiago was the site as La Roja of Chile played host to Argentina.  Five minutes into the match, La Roja had a chance to go ahead.  Gary Medel's shot was saved by Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero, but a rebound was given up and Sebastian Pinto had a great opportunity from seven yards to finish, but he blew it miserably.  Ten minutes later, Chile winger Mark Gonzalez got free in the box to unleash a diving header off a cross, but Romero was there for the save.  Argentina took advantage of the reprieves from Chile.  Fernando Gago played a great lofted through ball that played Lionel Messi (pictured, blue) behind an offside trap.  Messi gathered the ball, faked a shot to lose his trailing defender, and then floated home Argentina's first goal.  Three minutes after that, striker Gonzalo Higuain took a cross-field pass, slalomed through two defenders, and then left the goalkeeper rooted to his line with a finish into the far side netting.  Argentina were hitting on all cylinders and have put all their realized potential in kinetic motion this past year.  Sergio Aguero nearly made it three goals to the good, but his strike hit a post in the final minute.  Argentina led 2-0 at halftime.

Jean Beausejour  showed the world that Chile still had fight in them with a nice cross to Pinto, who this time header over the bar on a snap header.  In stoppage time, Chile were still trying their hearts out, and a reward came in the form of a goal from Felipe Gutierrez, whose low shot from nine yards was partially blocked by Romero but ended up bouncing in off the post after what initially appeared to be a save.  Time ran out on Chile, however, and Argentina win 2-1 to extend their lead atop the CONMEBOL standings.

Argentina 20 pts +13
Ecuador 17 pts +3
Colombia 16 pts +8
Venezuela 12 pts -1
Uruguay 12 pts -2
Chile 12 pts -4
Bolivia 8 pts -2
Peru 8 pts -5
Paraguay 7 pts -10

Lionel Messi 28
Gonzalo Higuain 31

Felipe Gutierrez 90+1

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