Copa America 2016: Argentina Remain Unbeaten As They Outplay Bolivia 3-0
Lamela, Lavezzi and Cuesta scored three early goals in the first half as Argentina outplayed Bolivia 3-0 in the Centenario Copa America 2016 Group D encounter at at CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington on Tuesday.
Argentina secured all the 6 points in the group stage and will lock heads against Venezuela in the quarter-finals.
Argentina began on a lethargic note having already qualified for the quarter-finals and focussed more on retaining possession in the initial minutes of the game.
Lamela put Argentina ahead in the 13th minute from a free-kick. The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder whipped the ball into the box which took a deflection before going in at the far post.
The early goal changed the entire scenario as Argentina pushed the tempo and worked the ball in circles all over the pitch and looked threatening as they rushed in through the flanks in search of a second.
Lavezzi added to the lead in the 15th minute with a right footed shot from close range. Higuain got on the end of a Kranevitter cross before heading at goal towards the far post. Bolivian keeper Lampe got to the end of it and thumped the ball which picked Lavezzi right at the centre of the goal, who made no mistake and fired the ball into the roof of the net.
Bolivia had some half chances in the first half but the finishing was not up to the mark. The men in green focussed more on defending had more men deep down within their own half.
Cuesta clinched the third for Argentina in the 32nd minute to cancel out the chances of a Bolivian resurrection. Aguero’s shot on goal was blocked and a further deflection picked Lavezzi in the area, who thumped an effort across goal but found Cuesta on the right of the six yard box. Cuesta worked the ball into the centre of goal with a sliding effort to beat the goalkeeper.
Argentina maintained the pressure after the restart and were hard to beat as every move seemed to fall in place according to their plan.
Argentina had a chance to add to their lead in the 55th minute from Biglia’s thunderous left footed strike on goal from the outside but Lampe managed to deny him with an acrobatic diving save in the bottom right corner.
Bolivia’s first proper chance on goal came in the 57th minute but they failed to convert. A quick throw from Saavedra picked Campos, whose right footed strike from a difficult angle went just wide off the far post.
Messi joined the party after the break and the fans witnessed a magical moment in the 61st minute as he almost scored from a free-kick outside the box. His left footed strike almost curled its way in but ended inches wide to the left at the far post.
— Univision Deportes (@UnivisionSports) June 15, 2016
Bigila’s through ball picked Messi inside the box but he was caught offside. However Messi continued with the ball and nutmegged Bolivian goalkeeper Lampe as the fans responded with a thunderous applause.
Argentina continued to hold the vast majority of possession and Bolivia failed to look for spaces when they had the ball at their end.
Argentina almost scored the fourth in the 64th minute. Messi floated in a cross to find Mori right at the corner of the goal but the defender failed to produce a first touch and his left footed strike went high and wide at the near post.
Argentina enjoyed 90% possession in the dying minutes of the game as they pressed harder in search of a fourth but the Bolivian back-line came back strong to restrict them.