Copa America: Messi-inspired Argentina demolish Panama

He can be quiet off the pitch but when there is a call for someone to rise to the occasion, Lionel Messi is always there to deliver in picturesque fashion.

The current best football player in the world shone again at the Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois when he came off the bench to inspire a ruthless 5 – 0 rout of Panama in the Group D encounter at the Copa America Centenario.

It was very surprising to see the Argentine attacker on the bench at the start of the game even after being deemed fit by the back room staff.

However, Messi came on in the second half with Gerardo Martino‘s men leading by a goal to nil courtesy of defender, Nicolas Otamendi early on in the game and Panama a man down after Anibal Godoy saw red.

Eight minutes into the game, Messi pounced on 10-men Panama and scored a sublime finish. He went on to add 2 more goals – an enviable freekick (10 minutes later) and a ‘butter on toast’ finish.

Another substitute, Sergio Aguero grabbed a late goal to make it 5, sending La Albiceleste and 14-time Copa America winner into the quarter-finals of the competition with a match to spare.

Watch below all the highlights from the match.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkuMcKHm6TM

 

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