Argentina beat Qatar to reach quarters at Copa America
June 25, 2019 | 8:38 PM
by Agencies
Argentina's Lionel Messi competes during the Group B match between Argentina and Qatar at the Copa America 2019, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, June 23, 2019. Argentina won 2-0. - Xinhua/Xin Yuewei

Sao Paulo: Argentina defeated Qatar 2-0 in its last group match to make the quarterfinals of the Copa America soccer tournament on Sunday.

Argentina once faced humiliating elimination from the South American competition after opening with a 2-0 loss to Colombia and a 1-1 draw with Paraguay in Group B actions, but Lautaro Martinez and Sergio Aguero scored a goal in each half in the match against the Asian champions to help the team stay in the campaign.

Martinez opened the scoring in the fourth minute when he intercepted the pass from Qatari defender Bassam Al Rawi in front of the area. Aguero scored the goal in the 82nd minute when he stormed past two defenders and sent a cross-shot into the far bottom corner.

With the decisive win, Argentina finished second on four points in Group B behind already-qualified Colombia, which defeated Paraguay 1-0 in the other group match for its third straight win.

The top two teams in each of the three groups, along with the two best third-place finishers, will advance to the next stage. Paraguay, on two points, will advance only if Japan and Ecuador draw on Monday in Group C.

Colombia's victory against Paraguay also helped secure a place in the last eight for both Peru, who finished third with four points in Group A, and Uruguay, currently second in Group C.

Argentina will face Venezuela in the quarterfinals at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

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