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Argentina vs. Chile: Score, Reaction from 2016 Copa America

Danny Webster@@DannyWebster21Analyst IIIJune 7, 2016

Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain, right, and Argentina’s Angel Di Maria, left, hug Argentina’s Ever Banega, background, after Banega scored against Chile during a Copa America Centenario Group A soccer match at the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, June 6, 2016. (AP Photo/ Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Two second-half goals were all Argentina needed to defeat Chile 2-1 in Group D play at the Copa America on Monday night at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Argentina's first game of this year's Copa America was a success, as it secured three points to tie Panama atop the group.

Fox Soccer took to Twitter after the final whistle blew:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

No Messi, no problem! Di Maria, Banega help Argentina exact revenge for last year's #CopaAmerica final loss #ARGvCHI https://t.co/J21Fo9Ib3X

Jose Fuenzalida scored a late goal for Chile, but the match belonged to Argentina for a majority of the second half.

The first half of the Group D affair was clean. Only two yellow cards were handed out—to Arturo Vidal in the 19th minute and Mauricio Isla in the 44th.

Other than that, it was an even 45 minutes. Chile had the possession advantage at 52 percent despite Argentina holding a comfortable shot advantage, 7-2.

The Argentines finally broke through early in the second half thanks to a 51st-minute goal off the left foot of Angel Di Maria to the bottom left corner.

Fox Soccer provided a clip of Di Maria's 17th career international goal:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Angel Di Maria scores his 17th international goal to put Argentina in front. #ARGvCHI #MyCopaColors https://t.co/pczZqGzPlJ

Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports commented on the excellent passing that led to the go-ahead goal:

Whatever was left of the level playing field quickly evaporated eight minutes later, when Argentina struck again as Ever Banega scored off his left foot to give his side a 2-0 lead. This time, it was Di Maria on the assisting end for Argentina, as Fox Soccer showed:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Ever Banega sends a deflected shot past Claudio Bravo for his 1st career #CopaAmerica goal. #ARGvCHI #MyCopaColors https://t.co/aT8YbLaeYw

The Copa America took to Twitter after Argentina took what seemed to be an insurmountable lead with just over 30 minutes to play:

Copa América 2016 @CA2016

Another goal for @Argentina! 🔥 shot by Éver Banega in the 59' #ARGvCHI https://t.co/pCS2qCUtbq

Argentina was playing without its best playerand perhaps the best player in the worldLionel Messi, who suffered a back injury at the end of May. Despite his absence, Argentina was cruising along, as Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated noted:

Grant Wahl @GrantWahl

2-0. Banega. Deflection. Argentina without Messi is still a stacked team. Di María a force on the break.

That turned out to be all the scoring Argentina needed to secure the full three points and keep pace with Panama in Group D. It was only a matter of time before Argentina broke through. It was the aggressor for most of the first half, and the Argentines finally broke through with a commanding performance in the final 45 minutes.

There's still potential for Chile to show why it came close to beating Brazil in the World Cup two years ago. The talent is there, but Argentina is on another level at the moment and looks like it may be the favorite to win the tournament.

Argentina will face Panama on Friday, while Chile will square off against Bolivia.

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