Copa America: Martinez scores late winner as Argentina secure knockout berth

by IANS |

 June 26 (IANS) Lionel Messi and Argentina have finally overcome their biggest hurdle. The side beat Chile through a late goal to win 1-0 and confirm their place in the quarterfinals of Copa America. It was at this exact stadium and the same opposition against whom Messi’s side failed to win the Copa America after losing the finals. Messi missed a penalty during the shootout in what was perhaps one of the lowest moments of his career. He had announced his retirement from the Argentina National Team following the game. Since that devastating loss, the side has won a Copa America trophy (2021) and the 2022 FIFA World Cup cementing his legacy. In what was a physical contest, Chile looked determined to not let the record winners of the trophy score a goal. Despite having 62 % possession, it was not until the 88th minute that the deadlock broke. Argentina won a corner and Messi curled one into the box in typical fashion. The ball hit the post and fell onto super sub Lautaro Martines who made no mistake in burying the ball into the back of the net. The win saw Argentina win six points out of six and progress into the quarterfinals of the tournament. They will play Peru in their final game of the Group Stage. 

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