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Lionel Messi scores but Miguel Almiron outshines him with man of the match performance

4 weeks ago
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Lionel Messi scored his 68th goal for Argentina on Tuesday night but Miguel Almiron put the superstar in the shade.

The Newcastle striker capping a man of the match performance with a superb run to set up the opening goal (watch below).

The final scoreline of Argentina 1 Paraguay 1 leaving Lionel Messi and Argentina’s hopes of progressing in the Copa America, very much in the balance.

Miguel Almiron had helped set up both goals in Paraguay’s opening 2-2 draw against Qatar and he carried that form into last night’s (1.30am Thursday kick-off in UK time) match.

Having lost 2-0 to Colombia in their opening match, Argentina were desperate for a win to help them avoid yet another dismal tournament outcome.

After a slightly brighter start by Lionel Messi and teammates, it was Paraguay who then had the upper hand in a very open match.

They fully deserved the 37th minute lead they gained when Miguel Almiron ran from his own half before pulling the ball back for Sanchez to put it into the back of the net.

An intervention by VAR got Argentina back in the game with a penalty converted by Lionel Messi after a handball was spotted.

However, Paraguay continued the better team, although there were chances at both ends.

Just after the hour mark Paraguay should have regained the lead but Gonzalez saw his penalty well saved by the Argentine keeper.

Miguel Almiron was subbed in the 87th minute as the two sides ended with a point each.

A recent friendly victory over Guatemala is remarkably Paraguay’s only win in the past 20 months, the last one being a 2-1 win over Colombia in October 2017.

A Paraguay win over Colombia on Sunday in the final group game would guarantee a place in the quarter-finals, whilst a draw would also guarantee qualification if Argentina draw with Qatar, Colombia having beaten Qatar 1-0 in their second group match.

As for Lionel Messi and Argentina they have to win on Sunday and even then they wouldn’t be certain of going through, depending on results elsewhere.

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