CUIABA, Brazil: Lionel Messi celebrated his 148th appearance at the international level by scoring two goals to help Argentina beat Bolivia 4-1, thus winning Group A of the Copa America, here, just now.
Messi, who matched the cap of compatriot Javier Mascherano with his 147th appearance last week, surpassed the record in style when he passed for the team’s first goal before scoring twice.
The victory at the Arena Pantanal Stadium saw Argentina advance to the quarterfinals and will face Ecuador, who finished fourth in Group B on Sunday.
Bolivia, who have already been eliminated from the tournament this time after losing the first three games of the group, clearly can not match the greatness of Argentina who dominated the match from the beginning.
Argentina did not wait long to score the first goal when Papu Gomez put the team ahead as early as the sixth minute through his volley after getting a toss from Messi.
La Albiceleste scored the second goal through Messi who completed a penalty obtained in the 33rd minute after Gomez was fouled by Diego Bejarano in the penalty box.
Messi gave Argentina a comfortable 3-0 lead when he blasted home his second personal goal of the match in the 42nd minute, before Erwin Saavedra scored Bolivia’s first goal in the 60th minute.