Argentina 0-0 Chile: South American giant plays out entertaining draw

In a rematch of the Copa America third-place play-off, Argentina and Chile drew in a friendly.

Argentina and Chile played out an entertaining 0-0 draw in a friendly in Los Angeles on Thursday.   -  getty images

Argentina and Chile played out an entertaining 0-0 draw in a friendly in Los Angeles on Thursday.

In a rematch of the Copa America third-place play-off, which Argentina won, neither team was able to find a breakthrough at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Both sides were understrength and had their chances in an encounter played in front of a small crowd but with plenty of feeling.

Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez squandered Argentina's best opportunities and Lucas Martinez hit the crossbar, while Cesar Pinares went closest to a breakthrough for Chile.

 

As the tackles flew in early – Leandro Paredes and Charles Aranguiz were booked in the opening seven minutes – Dybala fired just wide from distance in the 11th minute.

Argentina looked the more likely to open the scoring throughout the first half, going close again in the 23rd minute.

A beautiful team move saw Giovani Lo Celso play a pass into Lautaro Martinez, who teed up Dybala, but the attacker's shot from just inside the area was pushed away by Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Aranguiz was lucky not to be sent off for Chile moments later, while Lautaro Martinez headed a corner over with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

Chile had its best chance of the half through Aranguiz, who forced Agustin Marchesin into a diving save, while Lo Celso volleyed wide for Argentina before the break.

Pinares should have put Chile ahead on the hour-mark, only to drill an effort against the crossbar after an Eduardo Vargas cutback.

The chances continued to come and Lautaro Martinez drew a straightforward save from Bravo in the 69th minute after a brilliant flicked pass from Lucas Alario.

 

Substitutions disrupted the rhythm of the game, but Lucas Martinez almost scored a winner for Argentina in the 85th minute, his header clattering off the crossbar.

What does it mean? Argentina shows decent signs without stars

Without the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria, Argentina showed some good signs, particularly in the first half. While also facing an understrength Chile, Argentina looked dangerous and should have led during the opening 45 minutes.

Lautaro Martinez continues to impress

Lautaro Martinez impressed during the Copa America and the Inter forward again looked good against Chile. Most of Argentina's best moments came through the 22-year-old, who could have scored in either half and also set up Dybala for a great opportunity.

Aranguiz can count himself lucky

Booked in the seventh minute, Aranguiz was lucky not to be sent off midway through the first half. The midfielder put in a poor studs-up challenge on Lo Celso that only led to a stern word from the referee, when a second yellow card probably should have followed.

What's next?

Argentina heads to San Antonio for a friendly with Mexico on Tuesday, while Chile faces Honduras in San Pedro Sula.