Messi scores punishment yet Argentina held by Chile in WC qualifier

Lionel Messi scored a first-half punishment for has Argentina before Chile's Alexis Sanchez leveled as their World Cup qualifier finished 1-1 on Thursday. 

Messi changed over from the spot halfway through the primary half after Guillermo Maripan cut down Lautaro Martinez in the container. Chile striker Sanchez evened out in the 37th moment, polishing off a cut back from Gary Medel. 

Chile attendant Claudio Bravo made a top notch save to keep the scores level not long before halftime, tipping a Messi free kick round the post. 

The match in Santiago del Estero was Argentina's first serious trip since November and the two sides looked corroded. 

Argentina pushed forward as the game went on yet Chile's rearguard was strong, even without their supernatural holding midfielder Arturo Vidal, who passed up a major opportunity in the wake of contracting COVID-19. 

Messi nearly grabbed each of the three focuses just now yet couldn't discover a far beyond Bravo. 

The draw implies Argentina are unbeaten at home against Chile in 35 matches, and have gone 12 games without rout since losing to Brazil in the 2019 Copa America semi-finals. 

Argentina are second in the 10-group South America qualifying bunch for Qatar 2022 with 11 focuses from five games, a point behind Brazil, who play Ecuador on Friday. 

Chile are 6th, with five focuses from five games. 

The main four groups qualify naturally for Qatar while the fifth-set side goes into an intercontinental play-off. 

Prior in the day, Bolivia beat Venezuela 3-1 at home and Uruguay and Paraguay attracted 0-0 Montevideo.