Argentina 1-0 Uruguay: Messi lifts La Albiceleste to first Copa America win
Argentina, who have not lifted the Copa America since 1993, had drawn 1-1 with Chile in their opening game but secured three points thanks to Guido Rodriguez’s first international goal in the 13th minute.
Messi pulled the strings for 14-time Copa runners-up La Albiceleste – beaten finalists in 2015 and 2016 – with his cross from the left flank finding Real Betis midfielder Rodriguez for his winner, which snapped Argentina’s run of three consecutive draws while extending their unbeaten streak to 15 matches.
Uruguay, playing their first game of this year’s CONMEBOL tournament, were left frustrated by a resolute Argentina, while they were left to bemoan a first-half penalty shout which was turned down.
10 – Argentina has scored in the first half 10 out of their 11 goals in the 2022 WC Qualifiers and Copa América 2021. In this interval, only Joaquín Correa, against Bolivia, has scored a goal in the second half. Awake. pic.twitter.com/n39FPZU6H0
— OptaJoao (@OptaJoao) June 19, 2021
Argentina started brightly as Messi stung the palms of Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera with a curling seventh-minute effort, before Nicolas Otamendi had a header saved.
Messi then created space down the left for a cross which found Rodriguez, who nodded in off the inside of the post for his maiden Argentina goal.
In the 27th minute, Uruguay had a penalty shout turned down when Rodriguez appeared to make slight contact with Edinson Cavani inside the box.
Argentina raced down the other end with Messi laying off for Nahuel Molina, who tested Muslera at the near post.
Opportunities were few and far between in the second half, with Uruguay star Cavani almost glancing in a half-chance in the 69th minute while a subdued Luis Suarez flashed a volley over as Uruguay built some momentum.
Argentina struggled to create anything of note after the break, relying in attack on Messi, who was regularly crowded out by Uruguay’s defence.
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