Ahead of Argentina's first tournament match since Diego Maradona's passing at the age of 60 in November, a fitting tribute was paid to the legendary forward at Rio De Janeiro's Olympic Stadium.
A spectacular holographic version of the 1986 World Cup winner was projected onto the pitch, reenacting his immortalised ‘keepy-uppy’ warm-up routine from before a Napoli match in 1989.
And Lionel Messi gave La Albiceleste the lead with a stunning, curling free-kick that Maradona himself would’ve been proud of just after the half-hour.
It also saw Argentina’s captain become his country’s leading scorer in terms of competitive goals, with his 39th strike surpassing Gabriel Batistuta’s previous record.
But Chile were presented with an opportunity to equalise just before the hour when Arturo Vidal was judged to have been brought down by Nicolas Tagliafico as he pulled the trigger inside the box.
While Vidal’s penalty was expertly saved by Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez, Eduardo Vargas spared the midfielder’s blushes when he headed home the rebound.
With the scores level, Aguero entered the fray looking to conjure some of his well versed magic, just as he had done in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Chile in the Copa America’s 2019 third place play-off.
Although he wasn’t able to find the winner in his brief cameo, a player of our record scorer’s calibre will surely have a say on Lionel Scaloni’s side’s prospects across the rest of the tournament.
Argentina and Chile sit second and third respectively in Group A, two points behind Paraguay who mounted a second-half comeback to beat Bolivia 3-1 in Goiania.
Erwin Saavedra’s tenth-minute penalty had Bolivia, who were reduced to ten men just before the break, ahead until just after the hour before an Alejandro Romero equaliser and Angel Romero brace secured La Albirroja the win.