Lionel Messi celebrated his file 148th worldwide cap with two targets as Argentina trounced Bolivia 4-1 to clinch high spot in Copa America Group A on Monday.
Messi — who had equalled Javier Mascherano’s Argentinian caps file of 147 final week — marked his 148th look in model, organising the opening purpose earlier than bagging a brace of his personal.
The victory at Cuiaba’s Arena Pantanal stadium sees Argentina advance to a quarter-final on Saturday in opposition to Ecuador, the fourth-placed finishers from Group B.
Bolivia, who had already been eradicated after three defeats of their opening three video games, had been outclassed from the outset by a rampant Argentina.
The Argentines nearly took the lead after three minutes, just for Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lampe to tug off a outstanding double save from Sergio Aguero and Angel Correa in fast succession.
But Argentina didn’t have to attend lengthy for the breakthrough, when Messi’s pleasant chipped go launched Papu Gomez who volleyed previous Lampe to make it 1-0 after six minutes.
Argentina doubled their lead on 33 minutes when Gomez was introduced down within the space by Bolivia’s Diego Bejarano.
Messi duly stepped as much as convert the penalty to place Argentina firmly in management.
Bolivia bought their first shot on purpose shortly afterwards, Jeyson Chura’s ferocious long-range effort forcing Argentina goalkeeper Franco Armani right into a diving save at full stretch.
But Argentina reasserted their dominance and it was Messi who made it 3-0, latching on to a intelligent lofted go from new Barcelona team-mate Aguero and lobbing a cheeky end over the advancing Lampe.
Bolivia pulled a purpose again within the sixtieth minute with a cleverly labored transfer, Chura’s deft again heel releasing Leonel Justiniano down the fitting flanke who crossed for Erwin Saavedra to attain.
Argentina responded swiftly although, substitute Lautaro Martinez tapping in from shut vary within the sixty fifth minute simply two minutes after approaching for Aguero.
In Monday’s different Group A sport, Uruguay clinched second place within the desk after downing Paraguay 1-0 in Rio de Janeiro.
Edinson Cavani’s first half spot kick proved decisive for ‘La Celeste’, sending Uruguay right into a quarter-final in opposition to Colombia on Saturday.
Paraguay completed third and can now play Peru on Friday. Chile, who completed fourth in Group A, face a frightening process in opposition to hosts Brazil on Friday.