Tempers fray in bruising battle with Uruguay

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Argentine spectators left the Monumental stadium on Saturday again feeling exasperated by another mediocre performance by their national team, but more-so worried about playing Chile on Wednesday without a raft of their best players.

It was an ill-tempered 2-1 win against Uruguay, one that left Sergio Aguero, Javier Mascherano and Martin Demichelis injured and doubtful for Wednesday's clash.

Coach Alfio Basile's will also be without his playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme for arguing with the referee, something that Boca fans and domestic referees are used to, and Carlos Tevez, booked for kicking the ball away in frustration meaning a one-match suspension.

The Manchester United striker has also been sent off in two of his last three internationals.

Argentina's first goal came courtesy of an inch perfect cross from Riquelme with Messi racing into the box to connect with his head. He had been desperately keen to score, so he could perform his pre-prepared celebration, lifting up his shirt to reveal 'Te amo Papi', I love you Dad.

Seven minutes later, 'El Kun' took advantage of some hesitancy in the box and blasted the ball home.

Uruguay did pull a goal back just before half time, but they rarely threatened to do so again, and a more confident Argentina will be needed to win in the hostile atmosphere in Santiago.

Boisterous though it was, Saturday's battle didn't turn out quite like this game of beach football between the two countries.