Messi-inspired Argentina come to life with 3-0 win

CORDOBA, (Reuters) – Lionel Messi at last came into  his own at the Copa America as Argentina beat a defensive Costa  Rica 3-0 with two goals from Sergio Aguero to secure second  place in Group A yesterday.

Argentina will move to Santa Fe for a quarter-final on  Saturday against the second-placed team in Group C, while group  winners Colombia’s last-eight match is in Cordoba with the best  third-placed team from the three groups.

Striker Aguero put Argentina ahead with the last kick of the  first half, taking advantage of a deflection to bury the loose  ball when the packed Costa Rica defence tried to clear a  dangerous move in their box.

Aguero added the second eight minutes into the second half  after being put away by Messi on the left to become the  tournament’s top scorer with a tally of three.

With Messi finding more space and laying on a string of  perfect balls to the strikers, his combination with Angel Di  Maria was perfect as the midfielder came in from the left to  fire into the roof of the net in the 64th.

Argentina were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty just past  the hour when Gonzalo Higuain was pulled back.

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