Copa America 2024: Argentina’s Victory Over Peru Without Lionel Messi; Canada Secures Quarter-Finals Spot

Copa America 2024 showdown: Argentina’s flawless performance in the Copa America continued as they defeated Peru 2-0 at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.

Argentina demonstrated their depth and resiliency despite the absence of star Lionel Messi due to a strained right hamstring and coach Lionel Scaloni’s suspension. 

Copa America 2024: Argentina’s Victory Over Peru Without Lionel Messi; Canada Secures Quarter-Finals Spot
Argentina 2 Peru 0. Photo Credit: AFP

Argentina defeated Peru 2-0 in Miami on Saturday to continue their unbeaten start at the Copa America, despite Lionel Messi’s injury. Argentina won Group A and advanced to the quarterfinals thanks to two goals from Lautaro Martinez at Hard Rock Stadium. Argentina made nine changes to their starting lineup at Hard Rock Stadium with Messi out due to a tight right hamstring and coach Lionel Scaloni serving a one-game ban.

However, Argentina was always in control against a dismal Peru team that managed just one shot on goal throughout a one-sided match, despite the team’s apparent makeshift lineup.

Martinez scored his first goal just after the break. The Inter Milan striker was unleashed by a brilliant through pass from Angel Di Maria, and he skillfully finished over the approaching Pedro Gallese of Peru.

In the 72nd minute, after Jesus Castillo handled in the area and gave up a penalty, Argentina had a chance to extend their lead. However, Leandro Paredes’ subsequent spot shot struck the woodwork, leaving the score at 1-0.

In the 86th minute, Martinez then scored again, this time by finishing past Gallese after grabbing a long throw forward. According to replays, Martinez looked to shove defender Aldo Corzo during the build-up, but Peru’s complaint was waived by referee Cesar Ramos, and the goal stood.

Also Read: Colombia’s 3-0 Victory over Costa Rica, Secures Quarter-Final Spot in Copa America

“It was tough in the first half because they were defending deep, but the first goal opened up the game,” Martinez told reporters afterwards. “There’s a lot more to come from us.”

Martinez is enjoying his recent success, having scored for Argentina in four straight games. “Every time I put on this shirt, every training session, every meal, every team talk, I enjoy it,” Martinez stated.

Argentina’s next opponent in the Houston quarterfinals will probably be Mexico or Ecuador, the team who finished second in Group B. The other Group A match on Saturday saw Canada hold Copa America champions Chile in 2015 and 2016 to a scoreless draw in Orlando, which was sufficient to advance the Canadians to the round of eight.

Gabriel Suazo‘s second yellow card early in the match left Chile with a mountain to climb if they were to beat the Canadians and advance beyond them to the knockout stages.

When asked about his team’s progress to the last eight, Canada captain Alphonso Davies remarked, “It took a lot of hard work — it’s our first time in this competition and it’s not easy.”

“There are many talented individuals and teams competing in this tournament. However, we performed effectively and adhered to our plan. We put up a great fight. We performed well overall, however occasionally we had to flash our teeth.”

The victorious team from Group B will face Canada in the quarterfinals.

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