|Lionel Messi celebrates after hat-trick for Argentina|
Lionel Messi shook the world once again as he scored a hat-trick in 28 minutes to give Argentina a comfortable 5-0 over Panama in their second group game of the Copa America Centenario to book their place in the tournament’s quarter final.
Los Albiceleste started the game with their main man on the bench as Messi just recovered from a back injury, however, Tata Martino introduced the little magician for the final 30 minutes of the game and Lionel Messi showed that he is the best player in the world after he scored three times in the space of just 28 minutes including a sublime free kick.
Apart from Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano was also part of the game and the player was involved from start to finish for Argentina. Defender Nicolas Otamendi opened the scoring for Argentina at the Soldier Field after heading a perfect curling cross from Angel Di Maria on the 7th minute.
The score was stable at 1-0 before Lionel Messi was brought on for Augusto Fernandez on the 61st minute and it didn’t take time for the Barcelona forward to make his presence felt. He capitalized on a poor defending from Panama to get the ball and slotted home a left-footer to make it 2-0 seven minutes after coming on.
2015/2016 is the season Messi scored the most free kicks for Barça in his career, netting seven and he did it again once more for Argentina with a sublime curler that left the goalkeeper with no chance, it was 3-0 by the 78th minute already.
The Messi party didn’t end there as the star capped off his hat-trick on the 87th minute after doing well to beat off a Panama defender in the box before firing home. Messi was also involved in Argentina’s fifth goal, he sent his trademark diagonal pass to Rojo who assisted substitute Sergio Aguero for the 5th.
The win means Argentina still top Group D on six points, three above Chile and Panama in second and third respectively. They have already qualified for the quarter final and all that is needed is just a draw on the final group game against Bolivia to finish top of the group.
CLAUDIO BRAVO GETS WIN WITH CHILE
Another FC Barcelona player was in action in the Copa America but this time for Chile. Claudio Bravo was in goal for the full 90 minutes as Chile got their first win of the tournament, beating Bolivia 2-1 in a thrilling encounter.
Arturo Vidal opened the scoring for the Chileans with 46 minutes gone but Jhasmany Campos equalized for Bolivia 15 minutes later. It looked like it was destined for a draw until Arturo Vidal was on hand again to fire home from the spot on the 90th minute to put Chile on the brink of qualification. They just need a draw against Panama in their final group game to secure a quarter final berth.