Lautaro Martínez has scored an 88th-minute goal in each Argentina Copa America match. Tonight against Chile, it was a winner as Argentina became the first team to secure a spot in the knockout stage.

Lautaro Martínez struck a dramatic late winner as Argentina beat Chile 1-0 to secure their place in the Copa America knockout stages with a game to spare.

The reigning champions looked like they would have to settle for a point on a frustrating night at the MetLife Stadium, having failed to turn their superiority into the game’s opening goal. But substitute Martínez, who also netted an 88th-minute goal from the bench in his nation’s opener against Canada, finally broke Chile’s resolve when he lashed home two minutes from time.

Chile 0-1 Argentina xG race

It moved Lionel Scaloni’s side onto six points at the Group A summit – three points ahead of Canada, who beat Peru 1-0 earlier in the day – meaning a draw against Peru in their final game will be enough to secure top spot.

Argentina dominated the first half with 13 unanswered shots, yet just three of those were on target as they settled for attempts from outside the area, but one of them saw Julian Alvarez fire straight at Claudio Bravo from close range in the 22nd minute.

Lionel Messi also went close to scoring in the 36th minute. La Albiceleste’s skipper let fly with a fizzing 25-yard attempt that clipped the outside of Bravo’s left post, while Erick Pulgar almost turned Nahuel Molina’s cross beyond the Chile goalkeeper two minutes later.

The first-half attack built through an altered midfield four as Nicolás González and Enzo Fernández, two of Lionel Scaloni’s changes to the starting XI from their opening match against Canada, combined for seven first-half chances created – all from open play. Everyone else on the pitch for both sides combined for two.

La Roja had Bravo to thank for keeping Argentina at bay, as the reigning champions continued to carry the greater attacking threat after the break. The veteran stopper beat away Molina’s fierce strike within five minutes of the restart, and just after the hour mark, he produced a superb reflex save to tip González’s drive onto the crossbar.

With the breakthrough still eluding the world champions, Scaloni bolstered his attack by introducing Ángel Di María and Martínez for the final 17 minutes.

Chile had increased their own attacking threat by registering their first attempts on goal in the contest, with Rodrigo Echeverría calling Emiliano Martinez into action on both occasions.

Yet, there was to be a late twist in Argentina’s favour when an 88th-minute corner broke kindly for Martínez, who reacted the quickest to fire into the roof of the net and send La Albiceleste through to the quarter-finals.

Persistence Pays Dividends for Argentina

The recent history books would suggest Argentina should fancy their chances against Chile. This is epitomised by the fact they are now unbeaten after 90 minutes in the last 13 meetings, winning eight of those, but that does not tell the full story.

Seven of those eight victories have only been by a single-goal margin and, of course, they lost on penalties in the Copa America final showdowns of 2015 and 2016.

Though they dominated most of this contest and registered 22 shots to their opponents’ three, just the one goal was enough once more – with both of Martínez’s strikes from the bench in this competition coming in the 88th minute.

Chile 0-1 Argentina momentum

Argentina progress to the Copa America knockout stages for a 14th consecutive time, excluding when they withdrew from the 2001 tournament.

Toothless La Roja Resistance Finally Broken

Chile looked set to frustrate Argentina once again at the Copa America and hold out for a second successive clean sheet after their opening draw with Peru.

Their defensive resolve – along with an inspired performance by Bravo between the sticks – looked like it would remain firm and keep the reigning champions at bay, until Martínez’s late intervention.

What will be more concerning for La Roja is the fact they have now gone four successive Copa America matches without scoring, while having to wait until the 72nd minute for their first attempt on goal today.

Chile Copa America xG map

That is something they need to address quickly ahead of their crucial final Group A clash with Canada, in which a goal will be necessary and a victory could still see them snatch second place and a quarter-final spot.

Our Opta match centre delivers you all the Chile vs Argentina stats from their Copa America 2024 Group A clash at MetLife Stadium.

The match centre below includes team and player stats, expected goals data, passing networks, an Opta chalkboard and more. It gives you everything you need to do your own post-match analysis.

Underneath the match centre you can find the official Opta stats on the game as well. 

Chile vs Argentina: Post-Match Facts

  • Argentina extended their unbeaten streak against Chile in the CONMEBOL Copa America to 30 matches (22 wins, 8 draws) from their first encounter in the tournament until today’s match. Chile are their most-played opponent in the competition without a defeat in its history.
  • Argentina have won three straight CONMEBOL Copa America matches without conceding for the first time in the competition since the 2007 edition (1-0 against Paraguay, 4-0 against Peru and 3-0 against Mexico).
  • Claudio Bravo made eight saves tonight against Argentina, the most saves by a Chilean goalkeeper in a CONMEBOL Copa America match since at least 2011. Until today, no other Chilean goalkeeper had made more than four saves in a match in the tournament, spanning the last six editions.
  • Argentina have gone 10 consecutive CONMEBOL Copa America matches without being behind on the scoreboard (8 wins, 2 draws). The last time they were losing in a tournament match was in the semifinals in 2019 against Brazil.
  • Ángel Di María reached 143 appearances with the Argentine National Team, equaling Javier Zanetti as the player with the third-most matches played for the Albiceleste, behind Javier Mascherano (147) and Lionel Messi (185).
  • Since his debut with Argentina in 2018, Lautaro Martínez has scored the most goals for the Albiceleste coming off the bench in official competitions (CONMEBOL Copa America, FIFA World Cup, and South American Qualifiers), with three. Two of those goals have been scored in the current CONMEBOL Copa America, first against Canada and tonight against Chile.
  • Argentina faced only three shots in the victory against Chile. Only against Colombia in 2015 (2 shots) and against the United States in 2016 (0 shots) did the Albiceleste face fewer shots in a CONMEBOL Copa America match since Opta started recording this data in 2011.

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