Argentina beats Venezuela 4-1 in Copa América quarters; Messi equals Argentina's scoring record

Monday, June 20, 2016

On Saturday, in the Copa América Centenario quarter-final, Argentina defeated Venezuela 4–1 with Gonzalo Higuaín scoring a brace in the first half. Argentinine Lionel Messi scored his 54th international goal in the 60th minute equalling the nation's scoring record set by Gabriel Batistuta.

File photo of Lionel Messi.
Image: Fanny Schertzer.

Luis Seijas of Venezuela was booked early, in the 4th minute. With that yellow card, Seijas is to miss his next match. Higuaín opened the scoring in the 8th minute from Messi's assist. Twenty minutes later, Higuaín scored the second goal, finding an empty net. Just before half time, Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero tripped Josef Martínez and Venezuela won a penalty kick. Seijas tried a Panenka kick but it was saved by Romero. The first half ended 2–0.

In the 60th minute, Messi scored from Nicolás Gaitán's pass and equalled Gabriel Batistuta's all-time scoring record for Argentina. Ten minutes later, José Salomón Rondón scored a header for Venezuela. But within a minute, Érik Lamela scored the fourth goal for Argentina. Argentina won the match 4–1.

After the match, Gerardo Martino said, "It is not easy for a team to repeatedly reach the final in each competition. And these players have been doing it for two years [...] We are growing. The team fills me with pride" ((es))Spanish language: ‍No es fácil para una Selección repetir llegar al fin de semana final en cada competencia. Y estos jugadores lo vienen haciendo desde hace dos años [...] Vamos creciendo. El equipo me llena de orgullo.

Argentina is to face hosts the United States in the semi-finals in Houston.

19:00, July 18, 2016
Argentina 4–1 Venezuela Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Referee: Roberto García Orozco, Mexico
Gonzalo Higuaín Scored after 8', 28 minutes 8', 28'
Lionel Messi Scored after 60 minutes 60'
Érik Lamela Scored after 71 minutes 71'
Nicolás Gaitán Booked after 27 minutes 27'
2–0 (HT) José Salomón Rondón Scored after 70 minutes 70' Booked after 76 minutes 76'
Luis Manuel Seijas Booked after 4 minutes 4'
Wilker Ángel Booked after 51 minutes 51'
Arquímedes Figuera Booked after 62 minutes 62'