Sergio Aguero helps Argentina fly past Uruguay in Copa America
Santiago (Chile): Sergio Aguero reignited Argentina’s Copa America campaign with the only goal in a 1-0 victory over historic rivals Uruguay, as the tournament was rocked by the arrest of Chile star Arturo Vidal for drunk driving after a car crash.
Aguero bagged his second goal of the tournament in the 56th minute of a niggly battle between the 1930 World Cup finalists in their 199th meeting.
The result leaves Argentina firmly on course to win Group ‘B’, with only one game against tournament minnows Jamaica, beaten 1-0 by Paraguay in Tuesday’s early game, remaining. Chile face Bolivia in their final Group ‘A’ on Friday, where they will be attempting to make certain of their place in the last eight.
Argentina captain Lionel Messi praised his teammates for keeping their cool in a hardfought win over Uruguay.
“It was a tough match from their side. They didn’t want to play that much,” the talismanic striker added. A tense first half had seen Argentina dominate possession and territory but fail to break down a resolute Uruguayan defense.
The two best chances of the opening period both fell to Argentina, with Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria testing Fernando Muslera in the ninth minute with an angled shot that the Uruguayan keeper needed two attempts to gather.
Muslera was pressed into action again midway through the half, producing a superb one-handed save to deny Aguero after the striker met Messi’s sublime cross with a downward header. Tensions began to rise thereafter, with Argentina coach Gerardo Martino shown a red card by Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci in the 38th minute.
On the stroke of half-time tempers flared once more with Argentina enforcer Javier Mascherano booked for sliding through Uruguay playmaker Nicolas Lodeiro, who had earlier seen yellow for a wild challenge on Zabaleta.
The winning goal came on 56 minutes, when a cross from Pablo Zabaleta was met by his Manchester City team-mate Aguero, who headed past Muslera. In Tuesday’s other game, Paraguay edged closer to the last eight with a 1-0 win over Jamaica.