Argentina waltzes by Bolivia, wins Copa America Group D
Argentina left nothing to mystery as to whether it would win its Copa America group.
Having a massive room for error (any loss by four or fewer goals would have been acceptable), Argentina raced out to a 3-0 first-half lead and won by that final score in a one-sided Group D finale against Bolivia at Seattle's CenturyLink Field.
Manager Gerardo Martino made a number of changes to keep his lineup fresh, and he kept Lionel Messi on the bench until halftime. Angel Di Maria, who was influential in the opening victory over Chile but limped off against Panama, was not active.
Not that it mattered. Erik Lamela opened the scoring off a deflected free kick in the 13th minute, Ezequiel Lavezzi scored off a rebound two minutes later and he then supplied an assist to Victor Cuesta in the 32nd minute to put Argentina in full control.
Messi, needing just one goal to tie Gabriel Batistuta's national record of 54 goals, came close on a free kick from 25 yards, not missing the upper left-hand corner by much. Later in the half, he toyed with Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lampe, pulling him off his line and then nutmegging him (through the arms and legs), even though he had been whistled for offside:
This was the final match of the Copa America group stage.