Published: Mon, June 24, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Felix Sanchez, the Spaniard plotting Argentina and Messi's elimination

Felix Sanchez, the Spaniard plotting Argentina and Messi's elimination

Lionel Messi's dream of winning an global trophy with Argentina remains alive after the South American nation sealed a 2-0 victory over Qatar in their final Copa America group-stage match in Porto Alegre.

The Qatar coach heaped praises on Messi and said his team would try to stop him from getting involved in the match.

Qatar are one of two teams from the Asian Football Confederation invited to compete in the Copa America this year, with Japan needing a result against Ecuador on Monday to be left with any chance of making the knock-out stages.

Punters can get 87/100 for the 2015 and 2016 runners-up to win to nil and that is our opening Qatar vs Argentina prediction.

And Lionel Messi would have an worldwide trophy with the Argentina senior national team.

The Barcelona forward's 57th-minute penalty cancelled out a first-half opener from Paraguay's Richard Sanchez.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni went for broke at half-time, bolstering his attack with the introduction of Sergio Aguero and the move paid instant dividends. A draw would only see them through if Colombia beat Paraguay by more than two goals and if - on top of that!

Argentina, who finished second in Group B behind Colombia, will play Venezuela at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracana stadium in the quarter-finals, while tournament debutants and guests Qatar are out.

- Argentina have progressed from the group stages in each of their 10 appearances in the Copa America with the current competition format (since 1993) - they withdrew in 2001.

Yet five minutes later, Argentina looked to be in danger again when Derlis Gonzalez was awarded a penalty after Nicolas Otamendi brought him down in the box.

Both teams endured disappointing starts to the continental showpiece, with Paraguay letting a two-goal lead slip in their 2-2 draw against Qatar, while Argentina were abject in a 2-0 loss to Colombia. Assim Madibo will have a huge task man-marking, Lionel Messi, as he is one player that makes the whole Argentine team tick.

"Playing among all American teams, that is logic", Berizzo said after drawing Qatar. Messi, in his fifth Copa America, played on the right flank, with Giovani Lo Celso and Leandro Paredes taking over the playmaking responsibilities at midfield.

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