After three consecutive draws, Argentina returned to victory by defeating Uruguay in the previous match. This time, Lionel Messi continued that trend by defeating Paraguay and stepped into the last eight of the Copa America.
Argentina won the Group 'A' match 1-0 at the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia on Tuesday (June 22) morning (Bangladesh time).
Alejandro Dario Gómez, the hero of Albiceleste's victory, scored in the tenth minute of the game.
With this victory, Messi was confirmed as the first team in the knockout phase of B group. At the same time, after two years, Lionel Scaloni's team was able to keep a clean sheet and their own net intact in two consecutive matches. Argentina won 1-0 against Uruguay in the previous match.
Earlier in 2019, the 14-time Copa America winners did not concede any goals in two consecutive matches against Chile and Mexico. In the intervening two years, they could not keep their net intact in two consecutive matches.
Argentina entered the field today with six changes to the team that defeated Uruguay 1-0 in the previous match. The team also gets the first good chance. Paraguay's Robert Pires and Gustavo Gomes collided while heading in the eighth minute.
Sergio Aguero gets the ball in the penalty spot. However, the striker could not aim the shot after more than a year after returning to the starting eleven.
However, Argentina did not have to wait long for the goal. They went ahead in the tenth minute. Angel Di Maria found Gomes after receiving the ball from Lionel Messi. The rest is easily done by this Sevier forward.
Messi almost got the goal in the eighteenth minute. The Barcelona star's superb free kick was narrowly off target.
Paraguay, after gradually organizing themselves, suppressed Argentina in the counter attack. However, they could not test goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez in the first half.
In the 42nd minute, Di Maria got the ball from Messi's free kick. Herman Pesceier's head on his cross was on target but not on target. Paraguay goalkeeper took control easily.
In added time, De Maria Butel's speeding shot was saved by the Paraguayan goalkeeper. But could not get rid of the danger. Junior Alonso blocked Gomes' cross and sent it into his own net. But Argentina did not get a goal for offside.
At the beginning of the second half, they folded themselves a little in defense. Paraguay got a lot of space and squeezed Argentina in possession of the ball. At one point, Paraguay got four consecutive corners. But they could not take Martinez's test even once. The failure of the forwards led to Argentina's defense losing almost all of their attacks.
Argentina could not spread fear in every attack. All their focus was on securing the quarter-finals by keeping the net intact. As a result, the match ended with a 1-0 goal lead.
Argentina came to the top of the group with 7 points from 3 matches and 2 wins and 1 draw. It was Paraguay's first loss after opening the tournament with a 3-1 win over Bolivia. The team is number three with 3 points.
Chile is number two with 5 points after a 1-1 draw against Uruguay. Uruguay is the most successful team in four Copa Americas with 1 point.