Belo Horizonte – Lionel Messi and goalkeeper Franco Armani saved Argentina from one other Copa America defeat on Wednesday.
Messi scored a second-half equalizer and Armani later saved a penalty kick as Argentina salvaged a 1-1 draw with Paraguay on the Mineirao Stadium, leaving the crew final in its group however nonetheless in competition for a spot within the knockout stage of the South American competitors. After Richard Sanchez opened the scoring for Paraguay within the 37th minute, Messi transformed a 57th-minute penalty kick awarded by video evaluate following a handball by a defender inside the world.
Derlis Gonzalez had an opportunity to place Paraguay forward once more 5 minutes later, however Armani saved his shot from the penalty spot. Argentina, which had opened with a 2-Zero loss to Colombia, stayed with one level from two matches in Group B. Qatar, which misplaced 1-Zero to Colombia earlier Thursday, additionally had one level however was forward on the tiebreakers. Paraguay stayed with two factors and Colombia had six, already secured within the knockout stage.
Argentina, whose final group-stage elimination within the Copa America was in 1983, will want a win in opposition to visitor Qatar on Sunday to advance to the following spherical. The highest two groups in every of the three teams advance, together with the most effective two third-place finishers. Argentina, making an attempt to finish a title drought of 26 years, began the match with 4 adjustments to the crew that misplaced to Colombia within the opener. Amongst these changed have been veterans Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria. Their substitutes have been Lautaro Martinez and Rodrigo De Paul.
Midfielder Roberto Pereyra and defender Milton Casco additionally joined the beginning lineup, changing Guido Rodriguez and Renzo Saravia. The adjustments by coach Lionel Scaloni didn’t do a lot to enhance Argentina, which once more struggled to create scoring probabilities. Messi, in his fifth Copa America, performed on the correct flank, with Giovani Lo Celso and Leandro Paredes taking on the playmaking obligations at midfield.
The primary half confirmed Paraguay with the most effective probabilities on counterattacks, with Gonzalez almost opening the scoring with a shot that deflected off a defender within the 30th minute. Paraguay lastly received on the board when Miguel Almiron ran previous two Argentine defenders and despatched a low cross to Sanchez, who hit a agency shot into the nook.
Paraguay stored the stress till halftime, however Messi and Argentina improved considerably after the break, with Aguero and Di Maria serving to in assault. After a video evaluate noticed a handball by Ivan Piris inside the world, Messi calmly transformed from the spot to even the match on the Mineirao. Gonzalez noticed Armani save his penalty 5 minutes later after Nicolas Otamendi fouled him inside the world.
LATE ZAPATA GOAL GIVES COLOMBIA 1-Zero WIN OVER QATAR: A late objective from Duvan Zapata, his second in two video games, gave Colombia a 1-Zero win over Qatar on Wednesday and assured their place within the quarter-finals of the Copa America.
Zapata rose with 5 minutes left to go residence a floated cross from Man of the Match James Rodriguez and break the impasse in a scrappy however finish to finish encounter on the Morumbi stadium. The outcome means Colombia, who beat Argentina 2-Zero of their opening match, now have six factors and prime Group B, with Argentina taking part in Paraguay in a while Wednesday.
Qatar have one level after drawing 2-2 with Paraguay on Sunday however might nonetheless qualify for the final eight. Colombia have been the higher crew within the first half, with Roger Martinez having a objective dominated out for offside after simply 5 minutes and Rodriguez placing a free header broad eight minutes later.
Asian champions Qatar, one of many two non-South American groups invited, improved within the second interval however simply as the sport regarded destined to complete goalless, Zapata gave Colombia all three factors. “We’re heading in the right direction however we’re nonetheless a great distance from reaching all we actually need,” Rodriguez instructed reporters. A poor crowd of simply over 22,000 individuals watched the sport on a cold night time. The ultimate video games within the group happen on Sunday when Colombia face Paraguay and Qatar play Argentina.