DB VIDEO: Argentina 5 – 0 Panama [Copa America] Highlights 2016
Argentina captain Lionel Messi scored three goals in the second half to
see the 14-time Copa America champion through to the next round.
Lionel Messi scored a breathtaking second-half hat trick upon his return
as Argentina qualified for the Copa America Centenario quarterfinals
courtesy of a 5-0 demolition of 10-man Panama in Group D on Friday.
Despite being deemed fit to play by coach Gerardo Martino, Messi was
named among the substitutes in Chicago, but the captain came off the
bench and took the game by storm to seal Argentina’s passage through to
the knockout round of the centenary tournament at Soldier Field.
Defender Nicolas Otamendi had given Argentina a seventh-minute lead
and after Panama’s Anibal Godoy saw red just past the half-hour mark,
Messi utilized his team’s numerical advantage within eight minutes of
his introduction in the 68th minute.
Messi brought the crowd to their feet 10 minutes later with an exquisite
free kick and he completed his scoring three minutes from time for his
53rd international goal, moving to within three of the all-time record
held by Gabriel Batistuta.
Substitute Sergio Aguero scored from close range in the 90th minute as
the spirited Panama side was blown away in the second half.
Back-to-back wins saw Argentina improve to six points, meaning the 14-
time Copa winner cannot be eliminated as defending champion Chile and
Panama sit three points adrift ahead of their final-game fixture.