For the second straight game, Argentina scored off an early goal. For the second straight game, Lionel Messi helped make it happen.
Matchday 3 in Group A at Copa America 2021 on Monday saw Messi and Argentina clinch a quarterfinals berth by beating Paraguay via the smallest difference. Chile also punched its ticket to the next phase with a stalemate against Uruguay while Bolivia sat out this round of action.
Here is how the third set of games in Group A went and an updated look at the table:
Uruguay 1, Chile 1
(Arturo Vidal (OG) 66′) — (Eduardo Vargas 26′)
Chile’s protective bubble was broken by an invited barber over the weekend, but the team’s championship hopes remain in tact.
Chile advanced to the next phase of the competition despite giving up a first-half lead and playing to a 1-1 draw with Uruguay in the day’s early game at Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba. Eduardo Vargas scored the opener for La Roja, but it was canceled out after halftime via an own goal from Arturo Vidal that was forced by the attacking pressure of Luis Suarez.
Uruguay could have gone ahead late in the match, but star striker Edinson Cavani hit a header for La Celeste that went wide. The stalemate moves Chile to five points and gives Uruguay its first.
SUAREZ TIES IT 🇺🇾🔥 pic.twitter.com/u0AyLG6wwQ
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 21, 2021
Argentina 1, Paraguay 0
(Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez 10′)
Lionel Messi said before the tournament started that he is very motivated to win his first trophy with Argentina, and he is showing that right now with his play.
Messi was part of the build-up in Argentina’s winner in a 1-0 victory against Paraguay in the nightcap at Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia. The superstar attacker went on one of his trademark dribbling runs in the 10th minute before feeding Angel Di Maria, who then delivered an exquisite through ball that was finished off by Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez.
That proved enough for La Albiceleste, which has now won back-to-back games via shutout and is through to the knockout phase. La Albirroja, meanwhile, still has work to do in order to advance after getting blanked for the second time in its first three games in the competition.
¡Goooool de Argentina! 🔥
Qué golazo se inventó la Argentina. La finta de Messi, el pase de Di María, la definición del Papu. 😎
— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) June 22, 2021
GROUP A STANDINGS
1. Argentina……………7 pts……….+2 GD (Advanced)
2. Chile……………………5 pts……….+1 GD (Advanced)
3. Paraguay………..……3 pts……….+1 GD
4. Uruguay…………….…1 pt……….-1 GD
5. Bolivia…………………..0 pts……….-3 GD