Messi scores in Ar­gentina’s win; Chile routs Mex­ico 7-0

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

SANTA CLARA (Calif)—Lionel Messi made his first start of the Copa Amer­ica tour­na­ment and tied a na­tional record with his 54th in­ter­na­tional goal as Ar­gentina de­feated Venezuela 4-1 on Satur­day to set up a semi­fi­nal match against the United States.

In Satur­day’s other quar­ter­fi­nal, Ed­uardo Var­gas scored a ca­reer-high four goals and Ed­son Puch added two as Chile, the de­fend­ing Copa Amer­ica cham­pi­ons, routed Mex­ico 7-0.

Messi’s goal in the 60th minute gave Ar­gentina a 3-0 lead and equaled the Ar­gen­tine record for most in­ter­na­tional goals set by Gabriel Batis­tuta, ac­cord­ing to Ar­gentina’s gov­ern­ing body. The Barcelona star also took over the Copa Amer­ica scor­ing lead with his fourth goal of the tour­na­ment.

Ar­gentina now has two days to rest be­fore play­ing the U.S. in Hous­ton on Tues­day. The Amer­i­cans have been off since beat­ing Ecuador on Thurs­day.

With many in the Foxbor­ough, Mas­sachusetts, sta­dium wear­ing No. 10 from Messi’s na­tional team and La Liga jer­seys, the five-time FIFA Player of the Year started the game af­ter play­ing a to­tal of just 74 min­utes in the three group stage matches.

Just eight min­utes in, he con­nected with Gon­zalo Higuain on a long en­try pass to make it 1-0.

“He knows that he’s a game-chang­ing player,” Ar­gentina coach Ger­aldo Martino said. “Ev­ery­body’s try­ing to can­cel him. But he knows when to play one against one. He knows when to pass the ball to other play­ers.”

Higuain scored again in the 28th to make it 2-0. Messi then padded the lead in the 60th af­ter tak­ing a pass from Ni­co­las Gai­tan just out­side the 6-me­ter box.

Venezuela fi­nally beat Ar­gentina goal­keeper Ser­gio Romero in the 70th minute when Salomon Ron­don headed the ball in, nick­ing the post on the way. But Erik Lamela scored a minute later to make it 4-1.

Ar­gentina is 6-2-2 against the U.S., with the teams last play­ing to a 1-1 draw in a 2011 friendly in New Jersey. The last Amer­i­can win was in a 1999 friendly.—AFP

Ar­gentina’s Lionel Messi scores a goal against Venezuela’s Oswaldo Viz­car­rondo and Dani Her­nan­dez dur­ing the Copa Amer­ica Cen­te­nario quar­ter­fi­nal soc­cer match in Foxbor­ough, Mass.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.