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Messi rested but Argentina still too good for Chile in World Cup qualifier

Goals from Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez gave Argentina a 2-1 victory in Chile on Thursday in their World Cup qualifier as the visitor collected the points without Lionel Messi.

Argentina opted to rest Messi after his COVID-19 infection yet his Paris Saint Germain teammate Di Maria stepped up to give the visitor the lead with a trademark curling shot from outside the box after 10 minutes.

Chile’s English- born striker Ben Brereton equalised in 10 minutes later when he sent a fine looping header over Emiliano Martinez.

Bravo was getting ready to be subbed when Rodrigo de Paul fired in a fierce drive from 30 meters, and with the goalkeeper only able to parry the shot, Lautaro Martinez followed up to slot home the rebound.

The result was a big blow for Chile’s hopes of qualifying for Qatar. It is seventh, on 16 points, in the 10-team South American qualifying group with only 3games to play.