Copa America 2019, Qatar 0-2 Argentina: 5 Talking Points
Argentina made hard work of minnows Qatar to stumble into the quarter-finals of the Copa America 2019 with a crucial 2-0 victory.
Coming into the fixture on the back of one point from two games, it was all on the line for Lionel Scaloni’s men to deliver and so they did by doing the bare minimum.
A Gustavo Cuellar winner ensured Group B leaders Colombia took charge of Argentina’s fate in fine fashion by putting Paraguay to the sword.
Calamitous defending from Bassam Al-Rawi gifted Lautaro Martinez his early opener and the razor-sharp Sergio Aguero’s solo strike in the 82nd minute proved enough for a triumph for La Albiceleste.
While there are no surprises with the Argentines ending up on the winning side, Qatar’s superior cutting edge in transition raised plenty of eyebrows.
Questions aplenty for Lionel Messi and Co. have been left unanswered, but the 14-time Copa America champions live to fight another day.
#5 Rodrigo De Paul’s bright display is Scaloni’s biggest takeaway
Rodrigo De Paul was the epicenter of everything positive for Argentina. With more touches (91) than any player on the pitch, the Udinese star sparkled as a right-sided midfielder, exhibiting his neat footwork, impressive range of passing and tirelessness to bomb down the flank.
It was an all-encompassing display from the 25-year old as he boasted the deftness that is demanded from a central midfielder while covering a lot of ground to provide width with aplomb due to his depth of experience as a natural left-winger.
De Paul showcased his commendable versatility and dictated the tempo of the side’s encouraging transitions by adeptly linking up with Messi in the half-spaces.