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Copa America Centenario: Champs beat Argentina 4-2 in shootout after 0-0 draw


06-27-2016 15:44 BJT

The Final of the Copa America Centenario. After waiting 100 years for this anniversary edition of the tournament, it would only be fitting that it should take a while for a winner to be determined. Argentina were looking to reverse last year's loss to Chile, but just like that game, this match would go to penalty kicks, where an unlikely misstep by Lionel Messi instead put the Albiceleste on the edge of agony.

A capacity crowd on hand at Met Life Stadium, as two of South America's premier sides clash for the continental crown, just across the river from New York City, with Messi leading the Argentines onto the pitch.

There's controversy almost immediately, as Gabriel Mercado steps on the ankle of Alexis Sanchez in the fourth minute, but the refs apparently don't see it.

A bad pass by the Chileans is picked off by Gonzalo Higuain in the 21st minute, but his shot is wide of the post, while Gary Medel crashes into it. The defender giving chase to make sure the ball wasn't in. Medel would be fine, but Higuain can't believe he misses.

Messi on the attack seven minutes later when he is fouled by Marcelo Diaz. That infraction leads to the second yellow card of the match for Diaz, and his sending off means Chile are down to 10 men.

In the 40th minute, Messi goes down in the box, but instead of being rewarded with the penalty kick he's hoping for, the ref admonishes him for diving, and the Albiceleste captain is given a yellow card.

Two minutes later, Arturo Vidal is undercut by Marcos Rojo. A scuffle nearby breaks out while Vidal writhes on the pitch in pain. Rojo gets a red card, leaving both sides with just 10 men.

Sergio Aguero skies the ball over the crossbar in the 84th minute, wasting a good chance for Argentina.

Messi tries to end things in stoppage time, but goes wide instead, and another half-hour is soon tacked onto this match. The goalkeepers step up in extra time, as Eduardo Vargas is denied by Sergio Romero.

Messi's free-kick then finds the head of Aguero, but Claudio Bravo makes an excellent fingertip save. 'Kun' is stunned. And the skills of the keepers will be needed more than ever, as these two teams go to penalty kicks at this event for the second straight year. Vidal shooting first for Chile, but Romero is up to the task as he stops the Bayern Munich midfielder cold.

Messi with a golden opportunity, but he sends the ball high. The Barcelona forward was the only Argentine to make his spot kick in last year's 4-1 shootout loss. It is a completely different story this time, after that uncharacteristic miss.

Chile up 3-2 when Lucas Biglia is denied by Bravo, and Las Rojas are one kick away from sending Messi and company home without a trophy for the second straight year.

That task falls to Francisco Silva, who completes a 4-2 shootout victory for the Chileans, who win the Copa America for the second time in a row, with both championships coming on penalty kicks -- and that loss probably spells the end of Messi's time with the national team.

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