(Reuters) - Argentine and Chile renewed their combative rivalry in Los Angeles on Thursday in a game that was peppered with 10 yellow cards but with both teams missing key players and fielding experimental lineups neither was able to break a 0-0 deadlock.
Argentina were without the rested Sergio Aguero as well as Lionel Messi, who was banned in August from international matches for three months after making derogatory comments about South American soccer officials during the Copa America.
But they were still the more threatening team for most of the match, particularly down the right flank, where Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez combined well in front of a sparse crowd at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Dybala saw one long-range shot flash wide after 11 minutes and then midway through the first half he forced Claudio Bravo into a good save after fine set up work on the edge of the box.
At the other end, Augustin Marchesin parried a shot from Charles Aranguiz wide shortly before half time and then Eduardo Vargas blazed Chile’s best chance over the bar 10 minutes into the second half.
Argentine defender Lucas Martinez Quarta almost capped a dream debut but his header smacked off the bar with five minutes remaining.
The South American rivals have played several high tension matches in recent years, most recently in July’s bad-tempered third-place Copa America playoff where both Gary Medel and Messi were sent off.
Despite being a friendly, Thursday’s match produced 10 yellow cards, while Spurs midfielder Giovani Lo Celso limped off early in the second half after being on the end of a nasty stamp by Aranguiz.
Argentina now play Mexico in San Antonio on Tuesday, while Chile take on Honduras in San Pedro Sula the same day.
Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Greg Stutchbury