The story of the day seemed to be lots of shots but little to show for it! The winners of both games today outshot their opponents 52-9, but only ended up with 4 goals to show for it. Lots of shots and chances is impressive, but it's far more impressive if you can finish more of those chances at a higher rate! But alas, let's see how Day 2 went:
Argentina (1) vs Chile (1) | Group A - Matchday 1 | Estadio Nilton Santos
In search of his first ever major international tournament trophy, Lionel Messi once again proved what makes him one of the best, if not the best, players in the world. In the 33rd minute, the man himself curled in a beauty of a free-kick from just outside the box to give the Argentines the 1-0 lead. Unfortunately for Messi's trophy hopes, he seemed to be the only attacker playing like an attacker today. Argentina created chance after chance but for one reason or another, failed to put the majority of their shots on frame and failed to score. Chile equalized in the 57th minute when Arturo Vidal's penalty was initially saved, but Eduardo Vargas scored off the rebound! Despite their efforts and Messi's many gifts to his teammates, Argentina failed to score another goal and thus opened their #CopaAmerica2021 campaign with a draw.
Argentina dominated on the field, but unfortunately it didn't translate as one might have hoped. Argentina actually lost the possession battle but outshot Chile 18-5. Despite this huge advantage, each team still only finished with 1 goal a piece.
With the draw, Argentina and Chile both move into a tie for 2nd place in Group A, both trailing behind the other Group A winners of the day, Paraguay.
Paraguay (3) vs Bolivia (1) | Group A - Matchday 1 | Olimpico Pedro Ludovico
Thirty-four shots! Thirty-four! Paraguay dominated this game in possession and chances, but as we've seen time and time again throughout both the Euro's and the Copa America, they failed to cash in on many of those chances. Surprisingly, Bolivia found themselves on the scoreboard first as VAR ruled a challenge in the box to be a penalty which was then converted! Bolivia was able to hold their own for a while but were struck a massive blow when Jaume Cuellar received a red card LATE (45'+9) in the 1st half. Still then, Bolivia was able to hold back the floodgates for a little while until Kaku finally broke-through for Paraguay in the 62nd minute. It then took Paraguay only 3 more minutes to take the lead when Angel Romero scored the go-ahead goal in the 65th minute and the insurance goal in the 80th minute. If Paraguay can begin to put their chances into the net at a more efficient rate, they may be a team to be reckoned with in this year's tournament. Bolivia only managed 4 shots throughout the entirety of the game. Meanwhile, Paraguay averaged 10.13 shots per goal, and they scored 3 goals. As you would imagine, Paraguay resultingly dominated in possession winning that battle 78%-22%.
With the win, Paraguay finds themselves on top of Group A in Matchday 1 of #CopaAmerica2021 with all 3 points possible while Bolivia finds themselves at the lonely bottom, hoping to salvage something from their next contest.
Check back here tomorrow for another update just like this one on the previous days' matches! Also follow us at @SSN_Soccer for more up-to-date content from #CopaAmerica!