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Messi scores but Argentina opens Copa America with stunning draw
Posted by admin on 14th June 2015
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Argentina's Lionel Messi (R) jostles for position with Paraguay's Paulo Da Silva during their first round Copa America 2015 soccer match at Estadio La Portada de la Serena in La Serena, Chile, June 13, 2015. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo
Argentina’s Lionel Messi (R) jostles for position with Paraguay’s Paulo Da Silva during their first round Copa America 2015 soccer match at Estadio La Portada de la Serena in La Serena, Chile, June 13, 2015. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

It didn’t take Lionel Messi long to get on the Copa América scoresheet. It didn’t take much longer for Paraguay to throw Group B into a tizzy.

Tournament co-favorites Argentina watched a first-half lead evaporate as Lucas Barrios scored a last-gasp equalizer to earn Paraguay a 2-2 draw on Saturday in La Serena, Chile.

The result suddenly leaves Argentina two points behind Uruguay in the group, which was unexpected to say the least.

Boasting arguably the strongest and deepest attack in the world, Argentina gave Paraguay fits throughout the first half and built a 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of mistakes from Paraguayan defender Miguel Samudio.

In the 29th minute, Samudio played this poor pass back to his keeper, which Sergio Agüero intercepted and tucked away:

A few minutes later, Samudio was judged to have brought down Ángel Di María in the penalty box, and Messi converted the ensuing spot-kick.

Paraguay kept attacking in the second half, however, and finally pulled one back in the 60th minute when Nelson Valdez submitted his early candidacy for goal of the tournament:

Argentina generated several more scoring chances, but Paraguay drew level in the 90th minute. Paulo Da Silva played a nice header off a free kick back to Barrios, who froze Argentine keeper Sergio Romero with a low, left-footed finish:

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