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Rediff.com  » Sports » Aguero rescues Argentina in Copa America

Aguero rescues Argentina in Copa America

July 02, 2011 15:22 IST

Argentina, bidding to end a trophy drought, kicked off the 43rd Copa America with a disappointing 1-1 draw with minnows Bolivia at La Plata outside Buenos Aires.

Sergio Aguero, son-in-law of former World Cup-winning idol and Argentina coach Diego Maradona, came on as a second half substitute and promptly rescued a point after naturalised Brazilian Edivaldo Rojas had stunned the hosts by breaking the deadlock just two minutes into the second half.

Rojas ghosted in to nudge home following a corner on the left, the ball running under Ever Banega's foot on the line with keeper Sergio Romero beaten.

With Lionel Messi's Barcelona form stubbornly elusive -- not for the first time in sky blue and white -- Argentina struggled to respond before a spell of pressure finally told as Aguero, on just minutes earlier for Ezequiel Lavezzi, blasted them level on 76 minutes following a Nicolas Burdisso chest down.

Sergio AugueroThe opening 45 minutes had seen Argentina enjoy most of the possession and an early succession of corners which came to nothing, while at the other end a Marcelo Martins freekick ended up in Romero's midriff.

Despite having on paper a highly potent attack in Messi and Carlos Tevez, the hosts looked short on ideas to start with. The Manchester City man was also short on fuse, earning a booking for dissent on 36 minutes.

Happy to be level at the break Bolivia came out with a spring in their step and after Rojas put them a goal to the good Martins should have made it two after 58 minutes.

The striker was clean through on goal but showed too much of the ball to a grateful Romero, leaving coach Gustavo Quinteros fuming on the touchline.

Angel di Maria then drew gasps with a low drive flashing just wide as an equaliser loomed ever larger before Aguero finally delivered.

Argentina will now have to up their game considerably when they meet Colombia at Santa Fe on Wednesday before their final group match against special guests Costa Rica.