Argentina went some way to avenging their loss to Chile in the 2015 final. A cut above the defending champions throughout the encounter, despite the absence of Lionel Messi, La Albiceleste eased to a 2-1 win in Santa Clara against an out-of-sorts Roja side that proved blunt in attack.
Argentina had the better of the opening 50 minutes of the re-run of last year’s final, putting together some fine moves, enjoying plenty of possession and even hitting the bar early on. Yet for all their endeavour and pressure, they could not find a way past Claudio Bravo in the Roja goal. All that changed five minutes after the restart, however, when Ever Banega dispossessed Eugenio Mena in the midfield, surged forward and laid a measured pass into the path of Di Maria, who took a touch before firing low past the Barcelona keeper at the near post. Embarking on an emotional celebration, the Paris Saint-Germain forward dedicated the goal to his late grandmother, who had passed away the previous evening. “She was so proud that I was in the national team and I knew I was going to score a goal for her,” said Di Maria afterwards. (06 JUN 2016)