Argentina stretch their unbeaten run to 16 matches after beating Paraguay by 1-0 whereas Uruguay earned their first point in Copa America after drawing against Chile. The outcome is, however, good for Chile who advance to the quarterfinals along with Argentina.

The match was notable for Lionel Messi’s record-equaling 147th appearance for the national side.

The victory in Brasilia was Argentina’s second 1-0 win in a row in this tournament and their 16th match without defeat since losing in the Copa America semifinal in 2019.

Paraguay had never beaten Argentina over 90 minutes in the Copa America, a run that covers 25 matches and they were up against it as early as the 10th minute when Argentina went ahead.

Alejandro Gomez took a delightful pass from Angel Di Maria and dinked the ball over the diving keeper.

Argentina thought they had a second when Junior Alonso deflected a cross into his own net on the stroke of half-time, but the goal was chalked off by VAR.

Paraguay came out more positive in a changed second half, with Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron always dangerous on the left-wing.

However, although they enjoyed the bulk of the possession they could not turn it into chances and now face two tricky games against Chile and Uruguay.

For Argentina, Sergio Aguero made his first international start since November 2019 but was anonymous upfront and it was Di Maria and Messi who stood out.

Messi was a busy presence in the Paraguayan half.

Both he and Di Maria drew fouls from their opponents who ended up committing 23 fouls to Argentina’s 11.

Meanwhile, an own goal from Chile’s Arturo Vidal midway through the second half gave Uruguay their first goal in five games and granted them a point in a gripping contest.

Both teams, thankfully, showed a bit more verve on a hot and humid night in central Brazil.

Chile started the better side and went ahead after 26 minutes thanks to Eduardo Vargas. Vargas worked a nice one-two with Ben Brereton before lashing an unstoppable shot past goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

It was Vargas’ 14th goal in the tournament, making him the joint fifth-top goal scorer, only three goals behind the leaders on 17.

 Uruguay had not scored in their last four games before tonight but they grew as the game went on and got a deserved equalizer midway through the second half.

Matias Vecino nodded a corner into the six-yard box and as Luis Suarez grappled with Vidal the ball was knocked into the roof of the net.

The goal was first given to Suarez but then classed as an own goal and Vidal was replaced moments later after complaining he had been fouled by his former teammate at Barcelona.

There had been some controversy ahead of the game, with Chile admitting some of their players – Vidal was later named as one – breaking the bubble set up to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Uruguay got more on top as the game went on and pushed forward in search of a winner, with Suarez and Edinson Cavani, both coming close.

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But neither side could get a decisive goal and thus shared points.

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