La Pulga was stifled by another impressionable Argentine coach this time in Jorge Sampaoli, the mastermind of Chile’s first ever Copa America triumph. Messi barely had a shot on goal here, and was unable to combine effectively with Javier Pastore or Angel Di Maria as he did in the 6-1 thumping of Paraguay in the semi-final. Messi was the only Argentina player to score from the spot, burying his penalty in the bottom corner. His strike partner Higuain showed no such nerve, ballooning over the bar, and then Claudio Bravo easily stopped Banega’s side footed shot, allowing Sanchez to end Chile’s almost-century of hurt. Di Maria’s hamstring injury after just half an hour certainly had a huge impact on the game’s outcome. The Manchester United winger’s untimely departure deprived his side of a dangerous outlet on the counter, as his replacement Ezequiel Lavezzi lacked the same quick thinking on the ball, evidenced by his poor cross to Higuain in the last minute of normal time. The Napolo striker should have scored anyway, missing a clear chance in a second major final in 12 months, but he was not helped by Lavezzi’s overhit pass, and Argentina, for the second year in a row, were left wondering what might have been had Di Maria been able to stay fit. He and his country did not deserve victory here; this triumph belonged to Chile and that reflected their performance as both the best side in the final at the Estadio Nacional and throughout the tournament. Richard Martin and Rik Sharma 05/07/2015 Argentina are enduring a drought of their own – on this very day in 1993 they beat Mexico to win the Copa America and haven’t won an important trophy since. Messi will still be hoping to win a trophy with Argentina, though the opportunities are slimming, but if he does, it will be through his own brilliance, not the luck of a penalty shoot-out – though he did score from the spot while Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega missed. Upd. on 22/11/2016 at 03:06 CET Chile made sure that wasn’t the case here, even though they needed penalties to do it. His troubled performance brought back memories of his strife under his national team coach Gerardo Martino two seasons ago in the six games against Atletico Madrid, when he was caught too deep in midfield, smothered by Diego Simeone’s workhorse midfield. When Lionel Messi finally wins an international tournament with Argentina it is unlikely to be on penalties. Various factors made this easier for them, from the kind group they were placed in and the tournament structure, but Alexis Sanchez and Co. merited the glory they received after ending a 99-year wait for the trophy. This was an evening to forget for Messi, whose family were insulted and had objects thrown at them by Chile fans at the start of the game, forcing them to watch the second half from a television cabin. But take nothing away from Chile. They were bolder than Argentina throughout the game, especially in extra-time, and came close to settling the tie before penalties, with Sanchez coming to within inches of scoring from two separate occasions, the latter coming after a slip by Javier Mascherano.