Copa America 2019: Argentina's campaign back on track with 2-0 victory over Qatar

Argentina have cruised into the quarterfinal with a 2-0 win over Qatar.

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Copa America 2019: Argentina's campaign back on track with 2-0 victory over Qatar


Argentina has brought its campaign back on track as Sergio Aguero and Lautaro Martinez helped their side cruise into the quarterfinals. With a 2-0 win over Qatar, they join Group B winner Colombia. 

Not a vintage Argentina performance, but after defeat to Colombia and a draw with Paraguay in its opening two matches, the team has now heaved a sigh of relief. 

Argentina - needing a win to advance from the group stage - were handed the perfect start when a Qatari defender mistakenly passed the ball to Martinez at the top of the penalty area. The Inter Milan forward beat Saad Al-Sheeb to give Argentina the 1-0 lead inside five minutes.

Aguero had a golden chance to double Argentina's lead, but he flashed his low shot wide of the goal from 12 yards away.

"When we scored the first goal we just needed to keep our calm until the end and we were qualified," Martinez said according to ESPN. "We were playing a good team, we couldn't make a mess of it.

"Now we need to stay focused and win the next game and keep progressing."

Qatar's Al-Sheeb twice kept Aguero out in the first 20 minutes of the second half - once from close range with a reflex save and then tipping another shot over the crossbar - as Argentina looked to add to their narrow lead.

Argentina missed a golden opportunity 10 minutes later when Lionel Messi skied a wide-open shot from close range over the crossbar. However, Aguero gave his side the much-needed breather as in the 82nd minute, beating his defender and blasting a low shot past Al-Sheeb he doubled the lead.

"We played a good game and we won, and that was what mattered," Messi said. "We needed a game like this to gain some confidence and calm."

"As we play more games the team grows each one and that game was good for that," Argentina captain added according to ESPN.

The Copa guest and Asian champions Qatar are eliminated from the tournament after managing a single point in their opening group match against Paraguay.

Argentina - who finished second behind Colombia - will face Group A runner-up Venezuela on June 28 at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

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