SAO PAULO (AP) — Papu Gómez scored within the tenth minute as Argentina beat Paraguay 1-0 on Monday and secured its place within the Copa America knockout stage.
The end result on the Mané Garrincha stadium in Brasilia moved Argentina atop Group A with seven factors from three matches. The sport additionally gave Lionel Messi a document 147th cap for the nationwide crew, equalling the mark of retired defender Javier Mascherano.
Chile, which additionally superior to the quarterfinals, is second within the group with 5 factors after the 1-1 draw with Uruguay. Paraguay has three factors, adopted by Uruguay (1) and Bolivia (0).
Captain Messi, searching for his first main title with the nationwide crew, needed to work with a crew impacted by six modifications within the beginning lineup.
Defenders Germán Pezzella and Nicolás Tagliafico, midfielders Rodrigo de Paul and Leandro Paredes; and forwards Sergio Aguero and Ángel di Maria began. Nicolás Otamendi, Marcos Acuña, Leandro Paredes, Giovani Lo Celso, Lautaro Martínez and Nico González had been unnoticed of the beginning lineup.
The modifications didn’t cease Argentina from beginning strongly. Early within the recreation, Messi discovered Di María on the precise, and the veteran winger eluded the Paraguayan protection with an help to Gómez. The striker lifted a shot over Paraguay goalkeeper Antony Silva.
Argentina compelled Silva to make necessary saves within the first half however the vitality of the crew waned within the second half, because it has in a number of latest matches.
“I used to be ready for this chance,” Argentina’s Gómez stated after the match. “I’m considering of my household, my associates. It involves your thoughts that you simply made a variety of effort (to be there). I had the persistence to attend.”
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni stated he was involved about gamers being drained after a protracted season and three straight Copa America matches.
“These circumstances weren’t the most effective to play,” he stated. “The second half can also be to Paraguay’s benefit. However we clearly have to enhance.”
Messi had his least spectacular efficiency on the match to date, however he nonetheless acquired reward from the earlier holder of the document of most matches performed for Argentina.
“Nobody higher than you to maintain making the legend develop and be the participant with most caps for our expensive nationwide crew,” Mascherano posted on Instagram. “Nobody represents us higher on the earth.”
Argentina’s final group-stage match will probably be on Monday towards Bolivia. Paraguay will tackle Chile on Thursday. The highest 4 in every five-team group will advance.
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