Copa America 2021: Argentina dominates Bolivia, Uruguay pips Paraguay for quarterfinals berth
The 2021 Copa America got done and dusted with its group stage commitments. A final couple of matches of the South Group concluded on Monday, four teams sealing their quarterfinals fate as we present its round-up.
As far as the ongoing Copa America is concerned, it go done with group stage engagements. Monday saw a couple of matches from the South Zone being held, as four teams sealed their fate for the quarterfinals while a team was eliminated. On the same note, we present the round-up of it.
Argentina routs Bolivia to claim top spot
In the opening contest of Monday evening, Argentina was up against minnow Bolivia at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba. Although the match was redundant, since the fate of both sides was decided, it was the battle for the top spot for the Argentine.
Most of the action happened in the opening half, as Alejandro Gomez opened the proceedings for Argentina in the sixth minute, followed by Lionel Messi's 33rd-minute penalty that doubled the lead. Meanwhile, Messi scored his brace in the 42nd to triple the lead at half-time.
Although Argentina had got the job done in the first half, Erwin Saavedra pulled off the fourth in the 60th. Nonetheless, the Bolivians pulled one back in the 65th through Lautaro Martinez, as the Argentine defence took control for the rest of the half, hardly allowing the Bolivians any room for further attacks, thus sealing its top spot.
- Argentina has scored a goal within the opening 15 minutes of a Copa match for three back-to-back games.
- It was the first time since August 2019 that Messi scored a brace for Argentina, while it was only his second time in a Copa match.
- Lionel Scaloni is undefeated in the previous 17 games as the Argentine head coach, the joint-third longest run in the side's history, along with Guillermo Stábile.
Uruguay toils past Paraguay to finish second
With Argentine sealing its top spot, Uruguay targeted the second spot, as it was up against minnow Paraguay at the Estádio Nilton Santos in Rio de Janerio. Although Uruguay justified the tag of being favourites in the game, it did not come easy.
The first half saw seven attempts for Uruguay, unlike none from the opponent, with Georgian de Arrascaeta hitting the post in the fourth minute to nearly give Uruguay the lead. However, in the 21st minute, Ángel Romero fouled Nahitan Nández inside the box, as Edinson Cavani swiftly put Uruguay ahead from the spot-kick to lead at half-time.
The second half was even intense, with a total of 15 chances being created, while Paraguay could only manage four out of it. Meanwhile, five of the Uruguayan attempts were denied by goalkeeper Anthony Silva, but to no avail. Thanks to Cavani's only winning penalty, the former still managed to win the match and finish second.
Stat: Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani continue to remain the only goal-scorer for Uruguay in the tournament this term (3), while they have scored the last four goals in the same.
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