Despite the absence of captain Lionel Messi, Argentina saw off Chile in a rematch of last year’s Copa America final.
Argentina showed there is more to the team than Lionel Messi after accounting for defending champion Chile 2-1 in their Copa America Centenario opener in Santa Clara on Monday.
Messi was an unused substitute in a rematch of last year’s Copa America final, with Argentina coach Gerardo Martino opting not to risk his captain at Levi’s Stadium as he nurses a back injury.
But Angel di Maria and Ever Banega stepped up in the absence of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, with the pair’s quick-fire second-half goals inspiring a fifth consecutive victory for Argentina.
Argentina controlled proceedings but it was not until the second half that the 14-time champion made its dominance count, with Di Maria opening the scoring in the 51st minute before Banega struck eight minutes later, with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo exposed at his near post on both occasions.