Argentina and Chile drew 1-1 in the fifth round of qualifying for the South American World Cup in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, with Alexis Sanchez’s goal canceling Lionel Messi’s penalty.
“It [the match] is special as it was the first without Diego, “Messi told reporters after the game.
“It would have been nice if there were people in the stadium paying tribute to him, but what is happening in the country and around the world is complex. We wanted to represent the win and the national team, as Maradona used to do.”
Before kick-off, the national team and the association president were present at the unveiling of the new Maradona statue in front of the Estadio Unico Madre de Ciudades, where Chile and Argentina played on Thursday.
When the teams lined up on the field before the game, the players wore pictures of Maradona on their jerseys with his year of birth – 1960 – and the infinity symbol instead of the year of his death.
The draw meant Argentina missed the chance to overtake Brazil at the top of the table while Chile remain in seventh place.