Bolivia 1 Argentina 4: Messi celebrates historic record with Copa America brace

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Lionel Messi led Argentina to a 4-1 Copa America triumph at the Arena Pantanal on the same night he became his country’s most capped player of all time.

Messi eclipsed former Barcelona team-mate Javier Mascherano’s record and registered his 148th international appearance, which he celebrated with an impressive brace that sealed first place in the Albiceleste’s group.

Lionel Scaloni’s men opened the scoring after just six minutes when the Argentine captain’s perfect ball found Papu Gomez unmarked and the Sevilla star beat Carlos Lampe with a fine finish.

Gomez was then floored by Diego Bejarano inside the area and Messi hit the target from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute.

The Barcelona legend completed his brace just nine minutes later thanks to a scintillating flick over Lampe, following a superb cross by Sergio Aguero who also registered his 100th international appearance.

Bolivia showed some life in the second half as Erwin Saavedra beat Franco Armani with a fine finish following a beautiful low cross from Leonel Justiniano in the hour-mark.

But Lautaro Martinez sealed Argentina’s triumph just five minutes later following a moment of confusion in the Bolivians’ box.

Bolivia could have suffered a heavier defeat if it wasn’t for goalkeeper Lampe, who made a total of nine saves.

The 34-year-old shot stopper made a series of crucial saves as he kept out two consecutive efforts by Martinez on 70 minutes.

He also denied Messi a hat-trick on two separate occasions as he blocked a shot down his bottom right corner and then got the better of Julian Alvarez who tried to score from close range after getting the rebound.

Lampe then saved a late free-kick from the Barcelona legend, who sent the ball under the Bolivian wall.

Argentina are now set to face Ecuador in the Copa America quarter-finals on Saturday, following an undefeated run in the group stage where they won three out of four matches

Thanks for following the action with us, have a lovely night!


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