Argentina’s World Cup qualification hopes remained alive after La Albiceleste defeated their South American counterpart, Chile on Thursday by two goals to one.
The victory over their South American bitter rivals was the much needed boost they argentine team longed for. They now have eight points from five matches. They are one point ahead of current Copa America champions, Chile.
World Best Player, Lionel Messi missed previous qualifiers in the past year due to knee injury. In the four games he missed, the poor attacking force only put two goals behind the net for Argentina. On coming back to help to help his team, Messi said he missed playing for his country. Messi was the one that set up the match winner for Gabriel Mercado.
Messi told reporters after the game: "Watching them from the outside is always hard. I missed playing. I really wanted to get back to playing. It was important to win today especially because we beat them as visitors. It was important to beat them because they are a national team that has worked very hard and they drown you in pressure."
The Barcelona star continued saying: “I like the personality of this team. I was glad to be back to help this group of players, who give their all on the field.” He then added: But now at home we can no longer give away any more points. It will be very important for us to win for placing."
In the match, Chile lead first with an early header from Felipe Gutierrez in the 10th minute. Angel Di Maria’s equalizer calmed the teeming crowd at Santiago, Chile. Di Maria’s goal came in the 19th minute and Messi set up defender Gabriel Mercado for another goal in the 24th minute to wrap up the victory.
After the game, the argentine coach, Gerardo Martino told reporters: "It was very important for us to get this win, the qualifiers now look different. It required a lot of hard work but the players gave everything.”