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WC Qualification South America
October 17, 2012
• Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos, Santiago de Chile
Referee: A. Arias
• Attendance: 45000
F. Gutiérrez 90'+
L. Messi 28'
G. Higuaín 31'
Thanks for joining me, everyone. Hope you all enjoyed the game as much as I did. Until next time.
And that's that. It's all over in Santiago, and Argentina will finish the year on top of Conmebol World Cup qualifying.
90' + 2'
Goal F. Gutiérrez
Gol de Chile. La Roja finally find a way through as substitute Gutierrez finds space on the left and strikes his shot firmly underneath Romero. It's up for grabs now?
Big Hernan Barcos comes on and immediately causes Chile trouble, jigging past a defender before his shot is deflected wide for a corner.
Chile will believe they deserved much more from tonight, but only have themselves to blame. They've created chances throughout, but failed to take them.
Gutierrez tries his luck this time, but that's wide too.
Vargas tries his luck himself this time, but that's wide too. The game looks up for Chile.
Vargas pulls the ball back for Gary Medel, but his volley is weak and it drifts harmlessly wide.
Ángel Di María
Sabella screams at Mascherano not to press so hard. The midfield is keeping its shape extremely well and el jefe clearly doesn't want to leave space between the lines.
Yellow Card Edu Vargas
And Chile once again call for a penalty. This time as the ball bounces up onto the hand of Guinazu. Would have been extremely harsh to give a penalty for that, but Chile becoming increasingly frustrated with referee Arias.
Young Felipe Gutierrez comes on for Chile, with Borghi desperate to add some more creativity in order to find away through this dogged Argentina defence.
Aguero furthest forward fro Argentina now, with Messi and DI Maria surging forward whenever they recover possession. Could be a couple more goals in this one.
Argentina increasingly compact since the introduction of Guinazu, Chile have their work cut out to break through these two banks of four.
Argentina break away, Messi finds space on the left and darts into the box only to see his low drive turned away by Pinto.
It's finally calmed down a little in Santiago now. Chile continuing to press, but will have to watch Argentina on the break.
Substitute Vargas goes down inside the box, but hope back up only to lose possession.
The Hig's back on, but he hasn't lasted long. He's down again now, and that will be the end of his evening. Guinazu will replace him, and Real Madrid fans will hope it's only an impact injury to that right ankle.
Yellow Card Marcelo Díaz
That's a late one from Marcelo Diaz on Mascherano. He'll go into the book for that one.
Another chance goes begging for Chile, this time Pinto sending his free header over the bar from six yards.
Wonderful free-kick from Messi, but Fernandez fluffed his lines from six yards.
That booking means Di Maria will be suspended for Argentina's next qualifier. It was a little silly, wasn't it.
Yellow Card Ángel Di María
And now Di Maria goes into the book for kicking the ball out of Diaz' hands as the Chile midfielder attempted to take a throw. That's a novel approach, Angel.
Yellow Card Jean Beausejour
Argentina break away again, but Aguero goes down under a challenge from Beausejour, who goes into the book.
And we're off, again.
"The difference is [the] Argentina attackers," says Goal.com reader Khairul Aziz. Can't argue with that, Khairul. Hope you're enjoying the game.
Stat attack: You have to love Bichi Borghi, his side are the only ones yet to record a draw in Conmebol qualification for Brazil 2014, winning four and losing four of their first eight outings.
And while we're on that little fella, a hat-trick for Leo Messi tonight will seem him equal Diego Maradona’s total of 33 goals for Argentina. Regardless of some records you may have seen, El Diego scored 33 goals in FIFA-recognised games for his country.
Stat attack: Leo Messi has equalled Gabriel Batistuta's record of 12 goals in a calendar year for Argentina. Batigol did it in 1998.
And that should have been it. Chile completely caught out by a simple ball over the top and Di Maria finds himself all alone inside the box. He tried to chip the ball over Pinto for Aguero, but the Chile keeper blocks his cross.
Argentina pour forward, Aguero chips his pass to Higuain on the far side, but the Hig's volley flies narrowly over the bar.
Kuuuuun, off the post. He beat Jara and Gonzalez in the box before placing his shot underneath Pinto, but the ball bounces back of the post.
Another huge chance for Chile. Gary Medel finds himself all alone at the back post, but his first touch is poor and Angel Di Maria rushed back to make a challenge. The goal was gaping. Chile won't believe they haven't scored yet.
Argentina put together what was probably their most sustained passing move of the evening so far, but Mascherano's ball is a little to high for an onrushing Zabaleta.
Finishing has been the difference between these two so far tonight. Chile have rushed their many opportunities, while Higuain and Messi were calm and focused in front of goal.
Gary Medel bundles his way through three defenders before losing his footing, the ball fall to Isla but his volley is over.
Chile want a penalty. The ball appeared to hit Fernandez on the hand as it dropped in front of him. The referee waves play on.
Chile have to ensure they don't let those goals take all the wind out of their sails. They've shown that can get at this Argentinian defence and, realistically, they need one before half-time here.
And this is exactly what Borghi would've been so afraid of. Chile had been the much the better side in the opening half an hour, but two moments of brilliance have Argentina way out in front.
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
It's two! Higuain with a fantastic strike, coming inside from the right and bending his left-footed into the top corner of Pinto's net. Great ball over the top from Di Maria, sublime finish.
GOL! Leo Messi gives Argentina the lead. Wonderul run, fantastic ball to find him from Gago, and the Barca man stutters, beats one, then chips his finish beyond Pinto. Argentina lead.
Mauricio Isla a constant threat attacking from right-back. That time his cross was poor, but the Juve man has combined very well with Sanchez thus far.
Sabella will be pleased with the way in which his side have dealt with the early onslaught from Chile tonight; though he won't be quite as pleased with that wayward effort from Gago.
Mati Fernandez beats one, then another, but Fernandez comes across to make a great tackle.
Once again, Chile press high up the pitch and win a throw. They're swarming all over Argentina like it's 2010.
Higuain forces off a shot, but a deflection takes all the power off his effort. Argentina showing signs of settling in the past few minutes. You get the feeling Chile need a goal now, while they're still on top.
Mati Fernadez' free kick flies just wide after a slight deflection. Romero looked beaten there.
And at the other end, Aguero finds himself one-on-one with Miguel Pinto after skipping past Diaz, but his shot is blocked. A frantic opening 15 minutes in Santiago.
Another fantastic move from Chile sees Romero called into action again. First stopping Gonzalez's header before he's forced to block another from Beausejour.
Another dangerous ball into the box before Marcelo Diaz fires his shot wide. Argentina need to get hold of the ball and slow it down.
It was excellent defending from former Real Madrid man Garay, who has dealt well with the early crosses into his side's penalty area.
Mati goes wide right this time and turns Zabaleta three times before putting his cross into the box. Cleared, but it comes straight back in. Backs against the wall for Argentina in this opening 10 minutes.
Mati Fernandez is drifting wide left at every opportunity to link with Mark Gonzalez and Beausejour. Chile have clearly identified Campagnaro as a weak point.
Chile have started really well here. The movement is almost Bielsan.
Gary Medel finds himself with a clear view of goal from 15 yards, smashed straight at Romero. Real chance for Chile there.
"smh i wanted vidal to mark messi," says Goal.com reader Alex Delpiero7. That would have been interesting. I smh too.
First piece of Messi brilliance sees him run, and run, and run, before playing it wide to Di Maria who can only drag his shot wide.
Wonderful ball from Mati Gonzalez for his Mark Gonzalez, but nothing doing.
And we're off. This it it, don't get scared now.
They're out there. We're ready to go.
Goal.com reader Chace Lorans says this will be 3-1 to Argentina. Get your predictions in, people.
Stat attack: Argentina have faced Chile 83 times, of which they've won 55 and lost just six.
And Manchester United fans will be please to hear that young Angelo Henriquez is one of three teenagers on the bench for Chile tonight, all of whom are products of La U’s youth academy - Igor Lichnovsky and Sebastian Martinez are other two.
Coach Claudio ‘Bichi’ Borghi is under pressure after two straight defeats, and there are rumours in the local press that he may be ready to quit. He really needs a positive result tonight, but it won't be east against an Argentina side that has won six out of seven in 2012.
The Chile squad is pretty depleted: Gary Medel is back from suspension for Chile, but Pablo Contreras and Arturo Vidal are banned after red cards against Ecuador on Friday. Osvaldo Gonzalez also misses out after picking up another booking.
Argentina: Romero; Campagnaro, Garay, Fernandez, Zabaleta; Gago, Mascherano, Di Maria; Messi, Higuain, Aguero.
The teams are in - Chile: Miguel Pinto; Isla, Marco Gonzalez, Jara, Beausejour; Diaz, Medel, Mark Gonzalez, Fernandez; Alexis, Sebastian Pinto.
Snack news: I’ve ditched the sunflower seeds for tonight, but am persevering with the Yerba Mate. Once again, do let me know what you’re eating/drinking throughout the game this evening, and I’ll give the best ones some props.
Hola Muchachos, welcome to Goal.com's LIVE text commentary on tonight’s Conmebol World Cup qualifier between Chile and Argentina. My name is Rupert Fryer and I will be guiding you through the action this evening.
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