Already-qualified Argentina flexed their muscle without Lionel Messi with a 2-1 away win over Chile,
To leave the hosts’ 2022 World Cup qualification hopes at major risk on Thursday.
Di Maria and Martinez netted first-half goals around Ben Brereton-Diaz’s looping header as La Albiceleste extended their unbeaten run to 27 games.
The victory improves second-placed Argentina’s CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying campaign.
32 points from 14 games, while Chile are battling to reach Qatar 2022.
La Roja, who suffered their second straight home defeat, have 16 points from 15 games.
And are seventh in the standings, three points behind Uruguay in the fourth automatic qualification spot after they won 1-0 in Paraguay.
In the ninth minute, winger Di Maria of Paris Saint-Germain hushed the Calama fans. when he scored his 23rd international goal with a spectacular left-foot strike from outside the box.
Blackburn Rovers attacker Brereton-Diaz levelled the game up in the 20th minute when he precisely headed over Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Marcelino Nunez’s diagonal cross.
Argentina restored their lead, just as Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo had gestured to be substituted due to injury, with the veteran stopper unable to hold Rodrigo De Paul’s long-range strike allowing Martinez to fire home the rebound in the 34th minute.
CHILE XI (4-3-3): Claudio Bravo;
Guillermo Maripan, Gary Medel, Sebastian Vegas, Paulo Diaz;
Marcelino Nunez, Charles Aranguiz, Erick Pulgar;
Ben Brereton Diaz, Eduardo Vargas, Alexis Sanchez.
CHILE SUBS: Sebastian Perez, Brayan Cortes, Jose Pedro Fuenzalida,
Mauricio Isla, Gabriel Suazo, Joaquin Montecinos, Ivan Morales,
Pablo Parra, Benjamin Kuscevic, Claudio Baeza, Victor Davila, Tomas Alarcon.
ARGENTINA XI (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez;
Nicolas Tagliafico, Nicolas Otamendi, Lisandro Martinez, Nahuel Molina;
Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Alejandro Gomez;
Nicolas Gonzalez, Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria.
ARGENTINA SUBS: Franco Armani, Juan Musso, Lucas Martinez Quarta,
Gonzalo Montiel, Marcos Acuna, Julian Alvarez, Angel Correa,
Nehuen Perez, Giovani Lo Celso, Paulo Dybala.
What does it mean? Argentina extends streak
Argentina have already assured their spot for Qatar 2022.
The 2021 Copa America champions, on the other hand, continue to establish a name for themselves with a two-year unbeaten streak.
The last time La Albiceleste lost was in July 2019 in the Copa America semi-finals to Brazil.
No Messi, no worries
Messi isn’t playing in the latest qualifiers, but the two players on the team with the most international goals have filled in for him.
Messi’s 33-year-old PSG teammate Di Maria netted the opener.
while Martinez grabbed his 18th international goal in his 36th appearance for his country.
Chile is on the ropes
Mario Lasarte’s La Roja have an uphill battle to qualify for Qatar.
even if they are only one point behind fifth-placed Colombia in the play-offs spot.
Chile have a tough run to come and have lost two in a row after a good three-game winning run late last year.
So, what’s next for Chile and Argentina?
Argentina hosts Colombia in Cordoba on Tuesday, while Chile makes the trip to eighth-placed Bolivia in a crunch clash.
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