Top Stories

Di Maria, Banega lead Argentina over Chile in 2015 title game rematch

Photo by Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

Argentina faced the reigning Copa America champions without the services of the tournament’s best player, but a pair of midfield maestros stepped up to lead La Albiceleste to victory on Monday night.

In a rematch of last year’s Copa America final, Argentina overcame the absence of Lionel Messi to exact revenge against Chile with a 2-1 victory at Levi’s Stadium. The victory sees Argentina join Panama atop Group D with three points after the CONCACAF side toppled Bolivia earlier in the day.

Angel Di Maria broke the deadlock in the 51st minute after proving a menace in the first half. Following a midfield turnover by Chile, Argentina broke free through Ever Banega. The recently-signed Inter Milan midfielder slid in Di Maria, who took a touch before firing past Claudio Bravo with a left-footed shot, making the score 1-0 to the world’s top-ranked team.

Just eight minutes later, Banega bagged a goal of his own to push the lead to two. Moments after Sergio Romero made a save on the other end, Banega saw Di Maria return the favor with a pass into the left side of the box. Banega’s shot defected off the toe of Mauricio Isla, leaving Bravo helpless as the shot flew into the near post.

Argentina started the game on the front foot, firing five shots before Chile could muster an attempt on goal. Nicholas Gaitian’s second-minute header trickled over the bar, while Marcos Rojo headed a shot just wide in the 23rd minute.

However, it was Chile that would provide the game’s biggest first half scare, as Alexis Sanchez forced Sergio Romero into a big save in the 30th minute. Romero snagged a Sanchez free kick just four minutes later, sending the game into halftime scoreless.

The second half would prove all Argentina, despite a late consolation goal from Jose Fuenzalida. Di Maria, Banega and co. faces Panama on June 10 in their next group stage match, while Chile looks to return to form the same day against Bolivia.


Throughout Monday’s clash, Angel di Maria was Argentina’s most creative player on the pitch. The Paris Saint-Germain playmaker opened the scoring early in the second half before assisting on the insurance goal, sealing an opening game victory for the tournament favorites.


Just eight minutes after getting the opener, Argentina removed all doubt as Ever Banega slammed home the game’s second to all but end Chile’s hopes of a result.


The Chile goalkeeper was helpless on the second due to a deflection, but Claudio Bravo would probably like to have another chance at stopping Angel di Maria’s opener. Bravo is one of the best in the tournament, so expect a bounce-back performance from both the Barcelona goalkeeper and his national team.


  1. For me Banega was the player of the game. he also got a goal and an assist but his defensive work was amazing.
    Match to forget goes to whoever was playing defense on the right side (Islas?)
    He got abused all night long.

  2. THIS was a great match. Not that Mexico Uruguay debacle. The Referee let them play… the players weren’t acting like they got shot by snipers… the referee didn’t run around imposing his red card stamp on the game, and the fans were cheering and having a good time!

    • Actually, that was your typical CONMEBOL game. Fast and skillful but with enough diving and play acting to make Clint Dempsey proud.

      • So you are agreeing with me that (a) this was a great game, and (b) typical CONMEBOL games are far better than that ridiculous Mexico – Uruguay game. sweet.

  3. This match is what quality looks like. Take notes you pay to play vultures. You are killing our player pool with your greed. Klinsmann is right.

  4. Big difference in the game was S.Romero stopping the chilean’s shot (forgot who shot it) after a turnover by the Argentine midfield in the first half.

    That shot goes in and Argentina would have needed to press to get the game back.

    That was the difference. ADM put his away (with poor goalkeeping to get beaten near post ) while Chile couldn’t.

    Also, it was fun to see a South American team do its “gamesmanship” against another South American team. I didn’t realize that this just par for the course (yes, I don’t watch much South American soccer)


Leave a Comment