Lionel Scaloni’s side dominated from the start, with Alejandro Gómez volleying home a feed from captain Lionel Messi to put Argentina ahead after only six minutes. Papu Gómez was hauled down in the area on the half-hour mark, and Messi stepped up to convert the penalty, doubling his team’s advantage. However, the best was yet to come.
In the Arena Pantanal in Cuiabá, Brazil, three minutes before halftime, Barça’s new recruit ‘Kun’ Agüero hoisted a superb ball over the top for Messi to lob the ball over keeper Carlos Lampe, putting Argentina 3-0 up at the break.
On the hour mark of the second half, Saavedra drew one back for Bolivia, but Lautaro Martnez’s goal five minutes later put the game out of reach. The 4-1 victory puts Argentina in first place in Group B, setting up a quarter-final match against Ecuador, who finished fourth in Group B. The match will take place on Saturday in Goiania, with kick-off at 10:00 p.m. local time.
For Leo and ‘Kun,’ it was a night to remember.
Leo Messi surpassed his old Barça teammate Javier Mascherano’s record of 148 appearances in an Argentina shirt with the win and man of the match performance.
The Barça number 10 has now scored 75 goals for the national team since making his debut against Hungary in Budapest in August 2005, with his double against Bolivia taking his total to 44. After surpassing Xavi Hernández’s 767 games for Barça in March of this year, the Argentine now holds the appearance record for both club and nation.
👏¡FELICITACIONES, LEO!— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 29, 2021
Messi alcanzó 148 partidos con 🇦🇷@Argentina, de los cuales 31 han sido en CONMEBOL #CopaAmérica, y se convirtió en el jugador con más presencias en la historia de la Albiceleste
¡Qué orgullo que sigas rompiendo récords en esta Copa!🏆#VibraElContinente pic.twitter.com/o55pohxG86