Argentina face holders Chile again

Flags from participating countries on stage at the 2016 Copa America Centenario Official Draw in New York, on Feb 21, 2016.
Flags from participating countries on stage at the 2016 Copa America Centenario Official Draw in New York, on Feb 21, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

NEW YORK • Argentina were given a chance for revenge on Sunday after being drawn against reigning Copa America champions Chile in the group stage for this summer's special centenary edition of the tournament.

The 2014 World Cup runners-up suffered an agonising defeat by their South American rivals in the final of last June's tournament in Santiago as their major championship drought continued.

Lionel Messi and his team-mates thus have the opportunity to strike back in Group D's opening match. Panama and Bolivia complete the group.

The Copa America Centenario is taking place outside South America for the first time this year to mark 100 years of the world's oldest international football tournament. Ten cities across the United States will host games from June 3-26 in the 16-team competition, which features 10 sides from South America and six from the North and Central America region.

Argentina's clash with Chile was the outstanding fixture from the draw at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom.

Host United States will play Colombia in the tournament's opening match on June 3 at the Super Bowl venue, Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

The match may carry a good omen for the US, who beat Colombia in the 1994 World Cup group stages, a game made infamous by the own goal from Colombian defender Andres Escobar, who was later murdered in his homeland.

The Americans' Group A is full of demanding challenges, with 2014 World Cup quarter-finalists Colombia and Costa Rica as well as last year's Copa America semi-finalists Paraguay.

"It's a very difficult group, but it's doable," US coach Juergen Klinsmann said.

Five-time world champions Brazil were drawn with Ecuador, Haiti and Peru in Group B.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2016, with the headline 'Argentina face holders Chile again'. Print Edition | Subscribe