Copa America: Lionel Messi goal salvages 1-1 draw with Paraguay
20th June 2019
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Lionel Messi salvaged a vital point for Argentina as they struggled in a 1-1 draw against Paraguay in the Copa America in Belo Horizonte.

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

Argentina remain bottom of Group B with one point from two games.

“We are lucky that we are still alive in this tournament,” said coach Lionel Scaloni, whose side must win Sunday’s fixture against Qatar.

“Our first half was not good, we played with desperation at times and we couldn’t control the play or create attacks. We had a very clear plan but couldn’t execute it as we kept losing the ball.

“They scored with their first attack and that caused us a lot of uncertainty. For a team like Argentina, which feels like it always has to win, the first blow is hard to take, but we assured the players at half-time that it was just one goal.”

Minutes after Messi’s equaliser, Paraguay were awarded a spot-kick of their own but Derlis Gonzalez’s effort was punched away by Argentina keeper Franco Armani, who narrowly avoided a red card when he fouled Gonzalez outside his area at the end of the first half.

“We trust Franco. He is our starting goalkeeper. He saved a penalty and kept us alive. I’m glad he had a good performance,” Scaloni said.

The draw followed their opening defeat by Colombia on Saturday. The two best third-placed teams advance to the quarter-finals, meaning Argentina will be knocked out of the tournament with anything less than a win against Asian Cup winners Qatar.

Elsewhere in Group B, Colombia clinched the top spot with six points with a 1-0 win over Qatar.

Paraguay, who were held to a 2-2 draw with Qatar in their first game, are second on two points and must beat Colombia to be guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals.

Line-ups

Argentina

Substitutes

Paraguay

Substitutes

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Argentina 1, Paraguay 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Argentina 1, Paraguay 1.

Foul by Milton Casco (Argentina).

Óscar Romero (Paraguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Argentina. Franco Armani tries a through ball, but Sergio Agüero is caught offside.

Foul by Nicolás Tagliafico (Argentina).

Óscar Romero (Paraguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Nicolás Tagliafico (Argentina) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Agüero.

Attempt missed. Matías Rojas (Paraguay) left footed shot from more than 40 yards on the right wing misses to the left. Assisted by Iván Piris with a headed pass.

Lionel Messi (Argentina) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Iván Piris (Paraguay).

Substitution

Substitution, Paraguay. Juan Escobar replaces Derlis González.

Attempt missed. Richard Sánchez (Paraguay) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Óscar Romero.

Foul by Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina).

Óscar Romero (Paraguay) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Argentina. Conceded by Iván Piris.

Lionel Messi (Argentina) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Júnior Alonso (Paraguay).

Substitution

Substitution, Argentina. Matías Suárez replaces Rodrigo de Paul.

Substitution

Substitution, Paraguay. Celso Ortíz replaces Miguel Almirón.

Leandro Paredes (Argentina) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Derlis González (Paraguay).

Offside, Paraguay. Matías Rojas tries a through ball, but Óscar Romero is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Matías Rojas (Paraguay) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Booking

Nicolás Otamendi (Argentina) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Nicolás Otamendi (Argentina).

Miguel Almirón (Paraguay) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Booking

Nicolás Tagliafico (Argentina) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Nicolás Tagliafico (Argentina).

Iván Piris (Paraguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Germán Pezzella (Argentina).

Óscar Romero (Paraguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matías Rojas (Paraguay).

Foul by Leandro Paredes (Argentina).

Miguel Almirón (Paraguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Argentina) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Rodrigo de Paul.

Foul by Sergio Agüero (Argentina).

Richard Sánchez (Paraguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Paraguay. Óscar Romero replaces Federico Santander.

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