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Messi sent off as Argentina finish third at Copa America

Baku, July 7, AZERTAC

Argentina secured third place at the Copa America with a 2-1 victory over Chile in an eventful consolation playoff that saw Lionel Messi sent off for just the second time in his career, according to ESPN.

Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala fired the 1993 Copa winners to an early lead, but Messi's red card stole the headlines after a clash with Chile defender Gary Medel just before half-time.

With Argentina up 2-0, Messi put in a hard challenge on Medel who was shepherding the ball out of play. The two players then aggressively bumped chests a number of times before the match referee intervened and immediately flashed reds for both.

The expulsion marked the first time the Barcelona forward had been sent off in a senior game for club or country since his debut with the national team in 2005.

With Messi out, Chile converted a penalty 14 minutes after the restart to cut Argentina's lead in half -- Arturo Vidal beating Franco Armani after a VAR review.

The defending champs could get no closer, however, as Argentina held out for the win in Sao Paulo.

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