Lionel Messi was sent off as Argentina beat Chile 2-1 to clinch Copa America bronze with both sides reduced to 10 men in an ill-tempered clash at Arena Corinthians.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner appeared to be the victim of shoving by Chile’s Gary Medel, but the referee sent both players off after 37 minutes with Argentina already two goals to the good.
Messi provided the assist for Sergio Aguero’s 12th-minute opener before Juventus forward Paulo Dybala doubled Argentina’s lead, but the first half ended with protests against the contentious red cards.
There were 21 fouls before the break and sparks continued to fly as Chile were awarded a penalty just before the hour, Arturo Vidal scoring from the spot.
Reinaldo Rueda’s men failed to force an equaliser, but there was time for three further bookings that took the tally of cards shown to nine at the end of an explosive encounter.