Football

Copa America: Lionel Messi shines as Argentina book q-final spot

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni considered resting Lionel Messi for their Copa America clash against Paraguay yesterday morning (Singapore time) but in the end, good sense prevailed as the Barcelona forward was once again a key man in their 1-0 win.

"The truth is that Messi has played in all our games and so it is very difficult not to rely on him," Scaloni said, after a hard-fought game in Group A, in which Alejandro Gomez got the winner in the 10th minute.

The victory over Paraguay in Brasilia took Argentina through to the quarter-finals with a game to spare and Scaloni admitted he might rest his star man in their next game against Bolivia.

Messi, who turns 34 tomorrow, got his 147th cap against Paraguay, tying the record held by Javier Mascherano.

In another Group A game, Chile also advanced to the last eight after a 1-1 draw with Uruguay. - REUTERS

Football