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29 Jun 2019, 13:20 IST

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Argentina will face Brazil in the semi-finalArgentina put in a much-improved performance in the Copa America as they established a 2-0 victory over Venezuela in the quarter-finals of the tournament on Friday.Lautaro Martínez once again emerged as a decisive figure in Lionel Scaloni’s squad, scoring the opener in the 10th minute of the game before substitute Giovani Lo Celso secured the victory with a 74th-minute tap-in. Martinez also netted the opener during Argentina’s 2-0 win over Qatar earlier this week.The quarter-final win means the Albiceleste are set to lock horns with tournament hosts Brazil in the semi-finals.Lionel Scaloni’s side endured a rough start to the 2019 Copa America campaign, losing their opening game 2-0 to Colombia. The team’s lacklustre performances continued as they drew 1-1 with Paraguay in their second group game.The Argentines were lucky to have secured their unconvincing win over minnows Qatar, saving themselves from yet another embarrassing exit from a major tournament.Speaking after the game, Argentina captain Lionel Messi, who has only scored one goal throughout the tournament, said, “Brazil has to be respected, they have reached this stage in the competition after having done very well so far. We are also trying to give our all in every game. Luckily things are going well. Everything is very equal, but we know it will be difficult because they are the home side and they will be in front of their fans. They got an extra day to prepare as well. Still, it will be an even match, as we have our own set of skilled players.”Messi is looking to win his first major title with his national team, having come close to lifting a trophy thrice. The 32-year-old missed out on the 2014 FIFA World Cup after losing the finals to Germany and lost two consecutive Copa America finals (2015 and 2016) to Chile.

Fans have now taken to Twitter to react to Argentina’s win:6 – Lautaro Martínez’s opener for Argentina 🇦🇷 against Venezuela 🇻🇪 was his 6th goal in only 10 caps for his national team, with his 11th shot on target; he has scored in consecutive appearances for Argentina for the first time. Bull.#CopaAmerica pic.twitter.com/GNiunnnFfO— OptaJavier (@OptaJavier) June 28, 2019Lionel Messi played badly but Argentina played well. The world is turning upside down.— Andy West (@andywest01) June 28, 2019Messi below his average in front of goal this tournament. And Argentina have actually done a good job to get him the ball near the edge of the box and in it. Need him to do better if they want to beat Brazil.— BarcAddicts (@BarcAddicts) June 28, 2019There will be revenge.The last time that Argentina faced Brazil was in the Copa America final in 2007 where the Argentine team lost 3-0 with goals from Julio Baptista, Ayala (OG) and Dani Alves.#Arg #CopaAmerica pic.twitter.com/RBi9UUKRzF— Barcelona Worldwide (@BarcaWorldwide) June 28, 2019Messi had a poor game tonight. The “but he was involved in the goal….” reasons are tiring and poor. He was clearly underperforming tonight. He needs to improve because if there’s one game where Argentina will need a better Messi than tonight, then it’s the next one vs Brazil.— AFC Ajax 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) June 28, 2019

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