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Qatar v Argentina Live Commentary, 6/23/19

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Lautaro Martínez (4)
S. Agüero (82)
Arena do Grêmio


Argentina will face Venezuela in the quarter-final in Rio de Janeiro, while Qatar head home. That's all for our live coverage, thanks for following along. Goodbye!
Lautaro Martinez and Sergio Aguero spare Argentina's blushes as they send La Albiceleste through to the Copa America quarter-finals as Group B runners-up, with their first win of the campaign. Martinez opened the scoring inside of five minutes, and Qatar's best efforts to pull themselves level fell short as Aguero put the match to bed late on, as they finish last in the group on one point.
90' + 2' The last time Argentina failed to progress from the group stage of a Copa Amarica was in 1983, when only one of three teams per group advanced.
90' There will be a minimum of four minutes added on at the end of this match.
Abdullah Abdulsalam
Yellow Card
89' Frustration setting in for Qatar as Al Ahrak goes into the book for blatantly shoving De Paul in an attempt to win the ball back higher up the pitch.
87' There were certainly positives for Qatar to take from this match, and their campaign as a whole, but the results show they're just lacking that bit of quality needed to turn these performances into points. Still, there's reason for optimism ahead of World Cup 2022, and they will get another crack at the Copa America next summer.
G. Pezzella
J. Foyth
85' A final change is made by Argentina, who don't want to risk Foyth with the defender on a yellow, as Pezzella comes on to take his place for the final five minutes.
Hamid Ismaeil
Pedro Miguel Correia
85' Ismaeil comes on to take the place of Miguel out wide.
84' Play is brought to a halt again as Miguel goes down and requires attention from the training staff. With the match out of reach, a substitute is readied and Miguel will be withdrawn. No need to take risks now.
P. Dybala
82' Dybala is credited with the assist, but that was all in the individual brilliance of Aguero.
S. Agüero
82' AGUERO PUTS THE MATCH TO BED! It's 2-0 and Argentina are surely into the quarter-finals as he brilliantly dribbles his way beyond a pair of defenders and through on goal, driving an excellent finish in at the far post! Al Sheeb got his fingertips to it, but it was struck with too much power for the keeper to turn it behind.
81' Messi is starting to take charge a bit, refusing to be dispossessed as he pokes the ball beyond one defender, before expertly shielding it from another, winning a free-kick as he lures Salman into a foul. Time is running out for Qatar.
79' Argentina haven't kept a clean sheet in any of their last seven competitive matches, dating back to a 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw with Peru in October 2017.
Abdullah Abdulsalam
Salem Al Hajri
77' An attacking change here from Qatar, and their first swap of the match, sees Al Ahrak comes on for Al Hajri.
P. Dybala
Lautaro Martínez
76' A second Argentina change is a straight swap up top, as Dybala takes the place of Martinez.
Karim Boudiaf
Yellow Card
75' Boudiaf goes through the back of Paredes to try and win the ball, and that will see him pick up a yellow card.
73' WHAT IS MESSI DOING?! That's incredibly un-Messi-like, as he's picked out completely unmarked about 10 yards from goal, on the end of Martinez's pull-back, but completely botches the contact as he sends a first-time strike miles high and wide of the top corner!
72' Aguero and Khoukhi grapple for the ball in the Qatar penalty area, with the Argentina striker going to ground, prompting penalty appeals from those in blue and white. Both players had arms around one another though, each equally to blame. Good refereeing to wave play on there.
70' THAT HAD TO BE BETTER! Qatar break threateningly, in numbers, as Argentina are caught out in defence. Afif leads the charge and he has options to either side, but tries for goal himself, scuffing his strike towards the near post as Armani makes the simplest of saves!
68' Play comes to a halt as Saravia tries to play in a cross, but winds up kicking Salman instead, who has got in to poke the ball free. It was definitely accidental, but that doesn't make it any less painful for Salman who is being tended to by the training staff.
66' Smart save! Argentina have really turned up the heat in the last five minutes, as they get after a second goal that would surely put this game to bed. Aguero drives forward and tries to pick out the top corner from just over 20 yards, but his effort is too central as Al Sheeb is able to parry.
64' Argentina attempted only seven shots in their last game, against Paraguay; their lowest in a game across the last four editions of Copa America. They have 14 attempts already today.
62' Al Sheed is at it again, this time getting over to his near post to knock a corner behind, bravely diving in at the feet of a few players as he arrives just before Aguero to see away the threat!
61' TERRIFIC GOALKEEPING! Successive corners for Argentina give their fans a little something to cheer about, but Al Sheed makes sure that's all they have to celebrate as he gets down superbly to save Aguero's fierce strike from six yards off the line!
59' Argentina are lacking any real cutting edge in possession since the restart, far too laxidasical in their attempts to get the ball forward. They're definitely lacking in energy - and desire - at the moment.
57' The lively tempo seen in the opening 45 minutes hasn't quite been here in the second half. Qatar are undoubtedly continuing to grow into the game, but the pace has been slowed considerably as Argentina adopt a more defensive approach.
M. Acuña
G. Lo Celso
55' Argentina go to the bench first as Lo Celso gives way following a disappointing showing, with Acuna taking his place.
53' Argentina have won their last six games against Asian countries at neutral venues.
Almoez Ali
Yellow Card
51' Messi takes matters into his own hands, bursting forward from out of nothing, as he drives through the heart of the Qatar side before being taken down rather cynically from behind by Ali. It's a yellow for the Qatar striker.
50' Argentina haven't started this second half all that well, and already there are some groans that can be heard coming from their supporters in the stands. Their patience has been tested in this tournament, and this is exactly the sort of complacency they've grown tired of.
48' Dreadful play from Saravia who gives the ball straight to the opposition deep in his own end, gifting Afif a chance to break. The turnover puts the pressure on Foyth, who is forced to come across and deal with it, and he winds up conceding a free-kick in a threatening area. Armani does well to collect the ensuing free-kick, though.
46' Qatar get the second half underway!
Despite the early strike there's been a wonderful balance to play over the last 40 minutes of the half. Possession has been just about evenly shared, and there's been little discrepancy in terms of chances. All to play for in this second half!
Lautaro Martinez was gifted the opener for Argentina inside of five minutes, setting up what looked like a straightforward day for La Albiceleste. Full credit to Qatar, however, who have done very well to settle in since then, limiting Argentina's looks while twice coming close to the equaliser before the break, with Bassam Al Rawi hitting the woodwork.
45' OFF THE POST! Al Rawi takes the free-kick, finding the slightest hole in the wall as he drives a strike towards the near post, but it smacks off the woodwork and goes behind, much to the relief of Armani!
J. Foyth
Yellow Card
44' Great bit of skill from Ali, who lures Foyth into a foul on the edge of the penalty area! It's a yellow for the centre-back, and more importantly for Qatar a great chance to try and restore parity before the interval.
G. Lo Celso
Yellow Card
42' Lo Celso catches Khoukhi with a late challenge as he picks up the first booking of the match.
40' ALMOST THE EQUALISER! Well that's certainly the closest Qatar have come in this first half, as Hatim gets behind the defence to get on the end of a cross from Ali, but it's just a bit too far ahead of him as he can only make weak contact, knocking it wide of the mark!
39' QATAR LIVING DANGEROUSLY! Argentina ramp up the pressure and Qatar nearly succumb to it! Martinez's header is spilled by Al Sheeb, right into the path of Aguero. The striker just can't get himself turned around for a shot, laying it off instead, where it's played back into the centre for Martinez, but his tame effort is cleared off the line by Al Rawi!
37' Encouraging news from out of town for Argentina, as Colombia have taken the lead against Paraguay. An Argentina victory, coupled with a win or draw for Los Cafeteros, would see Scaloni's side finish second in their group.
35' Brave goalkeeping from Al Sheeb, who comes off his line to punch clear Messi's free-kick, before being fouled. Argentina make nothing of the free-kick opportunity.
34' A bit of a soft decision from the referee as he awards Argentina a free-kick in a dangerous area, with Boudiaf called for a foul on Martinez. The ball will be placed just to the left of the penalty area, about 25 yards from goal. This is a great area to whip in a cross.
32' Excellent challenge from Tagliafico, who reads the play well to track the run of Miguel, sticking a well-timed foot in to knock the ball free and deny the full-back a clean look from 10 yards. Moments later Qatar are nearly in again, but it's Otamendi this time who puts in a stern challenge to see the ball behind.
30' Qatar show some good patience of their own on the ball, trying to pull Argentina wide before exploiting the crack through the centre. Ali thinks he's found a way through behind the defence, but Foyth shows impressive recovery speed to get across and knock the ball away from danger.
28' Qatar attempted a single shot in the first half against Colombia, equalling the minimum in a first half of a 2019 Copa America game (Argentina also had 1 against Colombia, and Ecuador 1 against Uruguay).
26' The more of the ball Argentina see, the more Qatar are dropping into their defensive shell. Qatar certainly aren't pressing high up to try and win it back, which has allowed La Albiceleste to be patient with their build-up.
24' Argentina are definitely commanding more of the ball, with Qatar biding their time between their opportunities to counter. The Asian outfit need to be a bit more willing to get men forward though, as three points are likely all that will keep their campaign alive.
22' HUGE CHANCE! Incisive passing through the lines from Argentina, which culminates in Messi playing Aguero through on goal, but the Manchester City striker just drags his strike wide of the far post! You'd have fancied him to at least be working the keeper from there!
21' Both sides appear to be in quite a nice rhythm with the ball at their feet. There's been some excellent passing taking place thus far, and surely more goals will follow if this keeps up.
19' Wonderful build-up play! Refreshing stuff from Qatar in possession, as they work it around determinedly in the attacking half, moving well off the ball. The end result is a low cross in for Ali, who was making a run towards the near post, but he just can't sort his footing as a stray touch sends the ball safely into the arms of Armani.
17' Argentina have only one point from their first two matches of the tournament (D1 L1); their worst Copa America start since 1979, when they lost their first two games.
15' DEFLECTED OVER! Al Rawi is caught napping on the edge of his penalty area as Aguero clips in from behind to dispossess him, before laying it off for Lo Celso. The midfielder twists and turns, getting the ball onto his left as he drives a strike at goal, but it's fearlessly off the head of a defender and behind for a corner.
13' Back the other way come Argentina, who penetrate the Qatar defence as they burst into the area. Aguero clips a cross in towards the far post, which Martinez leaves for Lo Celso, but the midfielder gets the contact all wrong as he blasts an effort over the bar.
12' Qatar manage their first decent spell on the ball, passing it around slowly in defence, with Argentina puzzlingly opting to drop deeper and let them keep possession. Eventually Qatar do get it forward, but the end result is a hopeful strike lifted harmlessly over the bar by Miguel from a difficult angle.
10' Argentina have look incredibly comfortable in these opening 10 minutes. Where was this sort of confidence against Colombia and Paraguay? They're attacking in numbers, knocking the ball around with real intent.
8' Martinez's opener is his first competitive goal for Argentina, with his previous four for La Albiceleste all coming in friendlies.
6' Well that is exactly what the doctor ordered for Argentina, who were desperately in need of something positive to hang their hat on. They started this match with a good intensity, which Qatar have been unable to match, and have been dearly punished as a result.
Lautaro Martínez
4' ARGENTINA HAVE LIFTOFF! Martinez, who squandered a gift of a chance seconds earlier, atones for the miss straight away to make it 1-0! Dreadful passing in defence from Qatar sees the ball picked off by Martinez, who bursts into the area and finishes coolly at the near post!
3' Penetrating start from Argentina, who certainly look lively from the off. They're seeing all of the ball thus far, and some clever interplay results in the first chance of the match as Messi shoots over the bar from 20 yards on the end of a tidy one-two with Lo Celso.
1' AND THEY'RE OFF! Argentina in their famous sky-blue and white stripes as they get the match underway, with Qatar in red.
SUBS: Paulo Dybala, Guido Pizarro, Agustin Matchesin, Roberto Pereyra, Juan Musso, Matias Suarez, German Pezzella, Angel Di Maria, Milton Casco, Guido Rodriguez, Marcos Acuna, Ramiro Funes Mori.
ARGENTINA (4-3-3): Franco Armani; Renzo Saravia, Juan Foyth, Nicolas Otamendi, Nico Tagliafico; Rodrigo de Paul, Leandro Paredes, Giovani Lo Celso; Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Sergio Aguero.
SUBS: Abdullah Al Ahrak, Mohammed Al Bakri, Ahmad Moein, Ahmed Al Aeldin, Hamid Ismaeil, Yousef Hassan, Ali Hassan Afif, Ahmed Fathy, Tameem Mohammed.
QATAR (3-5-2): Saad Al Sheeb; Bassam Al Rawi, Boualem Khoukhi, Tarek Salman; Pedro Miguel, Hassal Al Haydos, Salem Al Hajri, Abdelaziz Hatim, Karim Boudiaf; Akram Afif, Almoez Ali.
Lionel Scaloni makes a trio of changes from the draw with Paraguay, gearing up for this must-win match by restoring striker Sergio Aguero, who partners Lautaro Martinez in attack. Lionel Messi moves into a number 10 role, while Roberto Pereyra drops to the bench. Renzo Saravia is restored at right-back, while Juan Foyth makes his first appearance of the tournament at the expense of German Pezzella.
Felix Sanchez makes a pair of changes from the defeat to Colombia, with Salem Al Hajri and Karim Boudiaf replacing the suspended duo of Assim Madibo and Abdelkarim Hassan. Otherwise it's the same team and shape as was deployed against Los Cafeteros, with more of a back five, while Akram Afif plays just in behind Almoez Ali up top.
If not for a late Duvan Zapata strike, Qatar would be unbeaten thus far in Brazil. An impressive come-from-behind draw against Paraguay was followed by a slender 1-0 defeat to Colombia, but they can still progress to the knockout stage today should they spring a shock on a reeling Argentina side.
Standing in their way are a Qatar side looking to make a statement ahead of their World Cup debut in 2022, where they will fill the role of hosts – and they have not looked out of place thus far in their Copa America debut.
Despite a reversal of fortune following Lionel Scaloni’s appointment, they have reverted to their old ways in Brazil, and now face a must-win situation to avoid a disastrous group stage exit that would leave the federation in a state of crisis.
Argentina’s Copa America campaign has been nothing short of calamitous so far. They hit their tee shot into the water and overshot the green with their next, leaving them in desperate need of strong finish to salvage their hopes of progressing.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of this Group B showdown as Argentina clash with Qatar at Gremio Arena in Porto Alegre!