Lionel Messi scored two goals and Argentina beat Bolivia 4-1 on Monday to set up a Copa America quarter-final against Ecuador.
Alejandro Gomez volleyed home a sublime pass from Messi after five minutes before the Barcelona forward, who passed Javier Mascherano as Argentina’s most capped international, doubled their lead from the penalty spot after 32 minutes.
Messi made it 3-0 shortly before halftime with a clever lob and while Erwin Saavedra scored a consolation for Bolivia on the hour mark substitute Lautaro Martinez restored Argentina’s three-goal cushion with a tap-in five minutes later.
So, Argentina will face Ecuador in the quarter-final on Saturday.
Host Brazil will play against Chile in Rio de Janeiro on Friday and Paraguay play Peru, also on Friday. The match was very important for Messi. Through this match, Messi has set the record for most matches played for Argentina by removing his long-time teammate, Javier Mascherano. And what a great way to color this occasion! Messi has scored 2 goals and 1 more in the record-breaking match. Sevilla midfielder Papu Gomez and Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez scored the remaining goals for Argentina in the one-sided match.
Where the captain of the team is setting the record, how does the coach stay behind? Lionel Scaloni also has a great record. Argentina is unbeaten in their last 16 matches under Scaloni, never losing. He has won 10 matches and drawn the remaining seven. The 43-year-old is joint third with legendary coach Guillermo Stabil in Argentina’s unbeaten streak. Argentina was unbeaten in 16 matches under Stabil during 1956-57.
Scaloni will move up to second place with Marcelo Bielsa if he wins another match. The Leeds United coach, who is currently in charge of Argentina, has been unbeaten in 16 consecutive matches from 2000 to 2002.
However, it is a little difficult to catch the one who is at the top. Coach Alfio Basile kept the Albiceleste unbeaten in 31 consecutive matches from 1991 to 1993. The team won Copa America. As a result, he has to win the Copa by setting his own record, and Scaloni will have to take this unbeaten streak further.
Scaloni, of course, will be satisfied with the Copa now!
Brazil and Argentina did their job properly. So, it’s time to see can they qualify for the final. In the quarter-final, Brazil will play against Chili and Argentina play against Ecuador. If they win their match Argentina will play against Uruguay or Colombia and Brazil will play against Paraguay or Peru for Semifinal. So, it seems too easy for both teams to play in the final.