Always the Focus: Lionel Messi on the Bench, but All Eyes Remain on the GOAT

Always the Focus: Lionel Messi on the Bench, but All Eyes Remain on the GOAT

Not only Lionel Messi, Argentina also did not have head coach Lionel Scaloni due to a coaching ban. However, Argentina had already qualified for the group stage so they only played against Peru with the B team to save the strength of their key players, but the defending champions still showed that they were superior in terms of squad quality.

Most of Argentina’s chances came from set pieces. Throughout the first half, Peruvian goalkeeper Gallese struggled to save free kicks from Argentina’s stars.

Messi not on the field, Argentina still excels with a perfect record in Copa America - Photo 1.

Argentina won easily on the day they fielded their B team.

The excellence of the Peruvian goalkeeper was also the reason why the first half ended without a goal. However, just 1 minute after the second half started, things became too difficult for Peru; Argentina had an impressive coordination situation. Di Maria made a one-touch pass for Lautaro to run down and chip the ball past Gallese to open the score.

In the 55th minute, Tagliafico seemed to have scored Argentina’s second goal but the referee flagged Lo Celso offside. Peru had to wait until the 67th minute for their first clear chance but Marcos Lopez’s long-range shot was not beaten by Emiliano Martinez. Two minutes later, they were awarded a penalty after Castillo handled the ball from Montiel’s cross.

Messi not on the field, Argentina still excels with a perfect record in Copa America - Photo 2.

Peru eliminated from Copa America group stage for first time since 1995

 

However, Paredes’ shot hit the post from 11 meters away. However, the second goal still came for the defending champions. In the 86th minute, Lautaro Martinez shone again with a classy move that brought Argentina a 2-0 victory. Thus, Argentina won all the group stage matches and they are ready to challenge all their opponents in the upcoming knockout round.

In the match taking place at the same time, Canada only needed to avoid defeat and Peru did not need to beat Argentina to advance, while Chile had to win 3 points to advance from the group stage. However, the two teams proved to be too deadlocked and ended 90 minutes with a 0-0 draw. This score was enough for Canada to advance from the group stage for the first time in a Copa America, while Chile disappointed when they were eliminated with only 2 points.

 

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