Argentina are into the semi finals of the Copa America where they will take on rivals Brazil! This had the potential to be a tricky match for Messi and co. but this was their best performance of the tournament so far. That isn't saying much, but nonetheless, they got the job done in the end.
- 2nd Half
- Lo Celso75'
- AcuñaLo Celso68'
- MartínezDi María64'
- Del PinoSoteldo56'
- 1st Half
Venezuela - Argentina
Copa América - 28 June 2019
Copa América – Follow the Football match between Venezuela and Argentina live with Eurosport. The match starts at 20:00 on 28 June 2019. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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- End of 2nd Half
FULL TIME: Venezuela 0-2 Argentina
Messi has been disappointing this evening, but in a way that is a positive for Argentina. They haven't had to rely on their best player and they have won this game when they needed to.
The danger has surely passed for Argentina. Venezuela need two goals in two minutes and while they have the ball in the opposition third they just don't have the options ahead of them.
Di Maria on the counter attack! Venezuela had committed players forward in an attempt to give themselves a late lifeline, but Di Maria played pass when he should have taken on the shot himself.
There will be five minutes of stoppage time played at the end of the match.
Messi sets up Di Maria! The pass into the PSG midfielder from Messi, who was at the byline, was a good one, but the Venezuelan defence crowded out Di Maria and the shot was blocked.
Scaloni will now prepare for a Copa America semi final against Brazil, but he got away with his questionable decision to withdraw Martinez. That handed Venezuela the initiative!
- OffSergio AgüeroArgentina
- OnPaulo DybalaArgentina
A glimpse of Dybala at the end of this match! Surely there's a way for Scaloni to use him more effectively than this?
- OffRoberto RosalesVenezuela
- OnLuis SeijasVenezuela
A change for Venezuela and the impressive Rosales comes off five minutes from the end.
Foyth has been impressive for Argentina this evening, but the Spurs defender was guilty of dithering on the ball there. He was out of position as well, although Venezuela can't make the most of that.
Freekick... wide! Rondon lines up the set piece from 25 yards out, but it picks up a deflection off the top of the Argentinean wall and flashes wide for a corner kick. That was a decent try.
This certainly hasn't been a vintage performance from Argentina, but they deserve credit for the way they have largely held Venezuela at arm's length. They haven't really tested Armani.
There is another cracking Copa America quarter final later this evening with Colombia taking on Chile in Sao Paulo. Then Uruguay will take on Peru in the final quarter final on Sunday.
That goal was so cruel on Venezuela. It came just as they were starting to really impose themselves on this match. And Farinez, the goalkeeper who made the blunder, had had a good game up until then.
This was such a big moment just before Argentina's second goal!
Well, that should be that. It would take an almighty collapse from Argentina for them not to make the semi finals of the Copa America now. They will face Brazil in the final four. Wow. What a match that will be.
- GoalGiovani Lo CelsoArgentina
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Venezuela 0 Argentina 2 (75 mins - Giovani Lo Celso). Oh dear! Farinez has gifted a second goal to Argentina and that should be enough to ensure their passage through to the semi finals! Aguero's shot from distance was palmed into the path of Lo Celso who had the simple task of finishing from close range.
- OffDarwin MachisVenezuela
- OnJosef MartínezVenezuela
At long last, Martinez comes on for Venezuela. Why wasn't he thrown on sooner?
What a chance! Hernandez must have thought he was about to equalise! He was played in behind down the right side, but his shot is from a tight angle and Armani makes the impressive reflex save! That might have been the moment.
Venezuela are well on top at the moment. The decision to take off Martinez has robbed Argentina of an out ball and now they are just camped inside their own half under intense pressure.
- OffMarcos AcuñaArgentina
- OnGiovani Lo CelsoArgentina
Lo Celso comes on for Argentina. Many expected him to be a key figure at this Copa America.
Has Messi done anything of note in this second half? Of course, we often see this sort of performance from him for Argentina, but even by that measure this has been a poor display.
Scaloni has just made a rod for his own back if Argentina end up losing this match. Martinez had been the best player on the pitch for La Albiceleste, yet he's the one hooked?
Another VAR check! Foyth did well to shepherd the ball out of play, but the officials are looking at this for a potential penalty. Unsurprisingly, it's not given. Do we really have to check everything?
- OffLautaro MartínezArgentina
- OnÁngel Di MaríaArgentina
So this is a surprise. Martinez is coming off and he is replaced by Di Maria.
That change has made Venezuela a much more adventurous team and this is starting to feel like deja vu for Argentina. They have lost control of this match in the past 15 minutes or so.
Another one of those moments, of which there has been a few in this match, where nobody seems to know why the game is stopped. Is there an injury? It seems to be a drop ball. Strange.
Just a reminder that there will be no extra time period if this match ends in a draw - which is still a distinct possibility. The Copa America quarter finals go straight to a penalty shootout!
Venezuela are seeing more and more of the ball. Argentina are just beginning to slip deeper and deeper into their own half. Is that really a wise strategy given their vulnerabilities?
- OffLuis Del PinoVenezuela
- OnYeferson SoteldoVenezuela
Del Pino comes off for Venezuela. That is their first change of the evening.
Aguero tries to wriggle through! There were Venezuelan players all around the Argentinean striker, but he just about managed to wriggle through three tackles. It rolls through to the keeper in the end.
For the first time in this second half, Venezuela have got their foot on the ball and are stringing some passes together. Argentina look quite happy to let them have it for the time being.
Messi gets brought down as Argentina burst forward on the counter attack. Scaloni is making the case on the touchline that it should be a yellow card and he does have a point.
De Paul drives to the byline down the left side and crosses looking for Martinez. He is the one Argentina are looking for at every opportunity in this match. They're not looking for Messi.
Argentina have started this half just as they did the first half - on top. They could and perhaps should have scored a second goal by now to give them a cushion. Still only 1-0.
Will Messi be more visible in this half?
Wasteful! Argentina had three players on the counter attack, but Martinez played a poor pass out to Aguero on his left and the interception was made. That was a golden opportunity.
Nearly a second for Martinez! This is why he is in the Argentina team ahead of Dybala! He got in behind the Venezuelan backline, but sent his shot wide of the target (via the outside of the post) when he perhaps should have done better.
Farinez does well to punch clear under pressure from about five different players. The freekick delivery from De Paul on the right side was a whipped one, but the goalkeeper coped.
Argentina started the first half well and grabbed an early goal, but there is a risk that they are drawn into something of a dog fight here. Venezuela have got to grips with the match.
- 2nd Half
The second half is under way! Argentina have a 1-0 lead over Venezuela in this Copa America quarter final.
What did you make of the first half at the Maracana? Do you expect that Argentina will build on their lead in the second half? Or can Venezuela stage a comeback? Tweet me!
- End of 1st Half
HALF TIME: Venezuela 0-1 Argentina. Martinez's goal is the difference between the two teams. This has been an improvement from La Albiceleste, but Venezuela aren't dead and buried by any measure.
Venzuela must make sure that they don't concede a second goal before the half time interval. They will still stand a chance if they can hold on and find themselves just one goal down.
Great ball in! Acuna fizzed a wicked ball right across the face of the Venezuelan goal, but Rosales was on hand at the back post to make sure the cross didn't reach Martinez! Close!
There will be four minutes of stoppage time played at the end of the first half.
- Yellow cardSalomón RondónVenezuela
And ANOTHER yellow card! That's FIVE for this first match. We've only played 44 minutes!
- Yellow cardMarcos AcuñaArgentina
That yellow card had been coming for a while. Acuna enters the book.
Set pieces are where Argentina have hurt Venezuela the most in this first half, but you get the feeling that set pieces might be where Venezuela can hurt Argentina as well.
De Paul believes that it should have been a goal kick after he made a tackle to stop a Venezuelan attack. The corner kick is given, though. Venezuela make little of the set piece - header over.
Header over the bar! Pezzella jumped the highest to get on the end of a Messi freekick delivery into the penalty area, but he couldn't get over it and guided his header well over the target.
De Paul dug out a cross from the right side, but none of his teammates in the middle were expecting it and they all just watched from a distance as it sailed over their heads.
Here's another look at the pigeon tackle!
Chancellor has gone down and is implying that Acuna left something on him as the two players challenged for a loose ball. It might have been a bit naughty from the Argentinean.
Just a reminder that whoever wins this match will go on to meet hosts Brazil in the semi finals. They scraped through their quarter final against Paraguay last night, winning on penalties.
Venezuela have grown into this match since the opening goal, but they are struggling to create anything. They seem to be lacking in ideas. They are only crossing the ball into Rondon.
So a pigeon made a tackle in the opening few minutes of the match. No, seriously!
Miscontrol by Messi! It's not often that you see that from the great man. He has started this match rather slowly while the rest of his Argentina teammates are playing reasonably well.
Acuna whipped an early ball into the box looking for the run of Aguero to the near post, but the Manchester City striker just couldn't get there quick enough and the ball pops out the other side.
Another VAR check for... goodness knows. This can't be allowed to continue. The implementation of this system has marred so many international tournaments this summer.
That looked very ominous for Venezuela for a moment there. Messi had the ball at his feet and was surging towards the box. The tackle was made before he could burst into the area, though.
If Venezuela's plan was to bit back and hit Argentina on the counter attack then they require a rethink. They need to chase this game now after losing the early goal to Argentina.
Penalty claim! Machis believes that he should have been awarded a penalty kick for a tackle by Foyth inside the penalty area. But replays show the Spurs defender won the ball cleanly.
Martinez is justifying his place in the Argentina team at this Copa America. Of course, he is keeping out some big names - Lo Celso and Dybala to name two. Icardi isn't even in the squad!
The match has lost some of its flow since the opening goal. The referee is at fault for some of that. He is blowing way too quickly on his whistle. Very disjointed game right now.
PICTURE: Martinez celebrates putting Argentina ahead.
Messi wants a penalty kick for what he perceived to be a handball inside the Venezuela penalty area. The officials are now checking the incident using the VAR. Play continues, though.
That was brave play from Tagliafico. Rondon was challenging for a ball at the back post, but the Argentina left back put his body on the line and was ultimately fouled by the striker.
- Yellow cardLautaro MartínezArgentina
And now the goalscorer Martinez has been booked. The referee has got a bit card happy all of a sudden.
- Yellow cardYangel HerreraVenezuela
It's another yellow card for Venezuela as Herrera enters the referee's book.
Here is the opening goal!
Nothing comes of the VAR check. What was that all about? That has been a common theme throughout this tournament - the implementation of VAR has been really inefficient.
Long VAR check! There's confusion around the Maracana as the referee checks an incident using the VAR. Nobody is really sure what he is checking and this is taking way too long.
- Yellow cardTomás RincónVenezuela
The first yellow card of the match is shown to Rincon for... I'm not really sure, to be honest. Dissent towards the referee?
Venezuela have really struggled to get going in the opening exchanges of this match. This is the best that Argentina have played in the Copa America so far. They are well on top.
- GoalLautaro MartínezArgentina
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Venezuela 0 Argentina 1 (10 mins - Lautaro Martinez). Argentina have the lead early on in this quarter final! Messi played the corner kick into the box, the shot came in from the edge of the box and Martinez was on hand to flick home a clever finish! That goal has been coming for La Albiceleste!
Aguero gets in behind the opposition defence and bursts into the box. He plays the cross into the middle with the outside of his right foot, but Martinez couldn't get on the end of it.
Chance for Argentina! The set piece from the right side caused Venezuela problems in the middle, but Pezzella couldn't sort out his feet in time and the ball bounced through to Farinez.
The pre-match scene at the Maracana...
Argentina have actually started this match well. They are on top and are looking dangerous in and around the Venezuelan penalty area. Are they on the brink of a breakthrough?
Venezuela have only conceded once in the three games they have played at this Copa America and one of those games was against Brazil. They won't be an easy team to break down.
Aguero from a tight angle! A first sight of goal for the Manchester City striker. The angle was tight for Aguero, but he got the shot away regardless, forcing Farinez into a save low down with his feet.
La Albiceleste don't exactly have good memories of the Maracana. They beat Bosnia in a World Cup final here, but then lost the final at the famous old stadium five years ago.
So what sort of performance will we get from Argentina this evening? Will things finally click into place for them? Or will we get another sluggish and disjointed display from them?
- 1st Half
The match is under way! It's Venezuela against Argentina in the quarter finals of the 2019 Copa America.
Okay, here we go. The national anthems are out of the way and kick off at the Maracana is just moments away.
Venezuela have already held Brazil to a draw in this competition. They cannot be underestimated here.
Which Messi will turn up this evening? The best player in the world hasn't looked himself for Argentina at this tournament so far.
Not long until kick off at the famous Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. It's all on the line for Argentina. If they get through this match they will face Brazil in the semi finals. Lose, however, and heads will roll.
A reminder of the Argentina team Scaloni has picked for this game.
Of course, Argentina have struggled so at this summer's Copa America. They lost to Colombia then drew against Paraguay, only scraping through to the knockout rounds with a win over Qatar.
The scene is set in Rio...
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter ahead of the match to let me know your thoughts. Are Argentina on course for another calamity? Can Venezuela pull this off? Tweet me!
Argentina line-up pretty much as expected for this Copa America quarter final with Messi starting in attack alongside Aguero and Martinez. Lo Celso and Dybala are still on the bench for La Albiceleste.
He's not even starting...
TEAM NEWS: Venezuela - Farinez, Hernandez, Chancellor, Mago, Rosales, Moreno, Herrera, Rincon, Murillo, Rondon, Machis. /// Argentina - Armani, Foyth, Pezzella, Otamendi, Tagliafico, Acuna, Paredes, De Paul, Messi, Martinez, Aguero.
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Copa America quarter final between Venezuela and Argentina. We'll bring you all the action as it happens from Brazil. Kick off is at 8pm GMT.