Soccer-Early header secures Argentina 1-0 win over Uruguay


BRASILIA (Reuters) – A first-half goal from Guido Rodriguez, his first in 11 international appearances, gave Argentina a 1-0 win over Uruguay in a Copa America clash on Friday.

Uruguay hadn’t beaten Argentina in the Copa America since 1989 and they quickly bowed to Rodriguez’s head.

The Real Betis midfielder started for his country for the first time since June 2019 and he justified the decision by converting a Lionel Messi cross after 10 minutes.

The goal gave Argentina all three points and doomed their neighbors to a losing start to the Copa.

“We deserved to win,” Argentina midfielder Rodrigo de Paul said. “Today we tried to be more compact, to make it more difficult to score against. Up front we have monstrous players who can score goals at any point in the game.

The result of a game from start to finish but without any real excitement in an empty and cavernous stadium in Brasilia leaves Uruguay co-founder of Group A without any points, alongside Bolivia, who have played two and have. lost two.

Argentina occupy the joint first place with four points alongside Chile, who beat Bolivia 1-0 earlier on Friday. Paraguay have three points in one game.

Forward Edinson Cavani was back for Uruguay after missing the last two games due to suspension and he produced one of the few memorable moments for his team when he was unlucky enough to see a loud scream for a penalty returned after 26 minutes.

It was indicative of Uruguay’s miserable night that although they had a bit more possession, they never managed to shoot on goal the entire game.

At the other end, Messi caused problems for Uruguay with his dribbling in the final third, but he was often ousted by Uruguayan defenders.

The result extended Argentina’s unbeaten streak to 15 games since losing in the semi-finals of the last Copa America in 2019.

It also ended a streak of three straight draws and boosted the confidence of a team that knows their big rival Brazil is scoring freely and being the big favorite to win a second straight Copa America at home.

“We were a bit unlucky to get some victories (recently),” said second-half Argentina substitute Angel Di Maria. “Today we managed to do it against a direct rival who are still Copa America contenders.”

“Brazil are the best team (so far),” he added. “We are moving step by step and the dream is alive, I hope we can make it come true. Argentina are still a candidate (for the title) but Brazil are at home and are doing things very well.

Argentina’s next game will be against Paraguay on Monday, while Uruguay face Chile on the same day.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by William Mallard, Shri Navaratnam and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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