Lionel Messi calls on Argentina to bounce back from defeat to Colombia

Friday, 21 Jun, 2019

After losing to Colombia for the first time in 12 years when beaten 2-0 in Salvador on Saturday, the pressure was on Messi's side to produce a response in their second Group B match in Belo Horizonte.

With Qatar still to come, Argentina need to put themselves in a position where a result against the Qataris will see them advance to the last eight.

From the ensuing setpiece, centre-half Junior Alonso scooped a half-chance wide as Argentina escaped.

Diego Maradona slammed Argentina after their Copa America defeat to Colombia, claiming Tonga could beat Lionel Scaloni's side.

Argentina came close to taking the lead after play resumed, with Nicolas Otamendi's powerful header forcing Ospina to make a diving save, but Messi failed to nod head home the rebound with the goalkeeper missing in action.

But Argentina had to attack and the first 20 minutes of the second half with MARTINEZ and AGUERO up top in front of MESSI was the best the team had looked all tournament. Sergio Aguero chipped a ball into the middle where Lautaro Martinez had a shot go off the crossbar.

Newcastle United's official Twitter account posted a photo on Wednesday of Magpies winger Miguel Almiron and Argentina star Lionel Messi with the caption "A football genius and Lionel Messi".

The fourth match of Group B in Copa America 2019 will take place between Argentina and Paraguay.

While two of the best third-placed teams will go through to the knockouts and Argentina still have Qatar to play, there are no guarantees for the side now coached by former Deportivo La Coruna stalwart Lionel Scaloni.

"We are lucky that we are still alive in this tournament", Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni admitted. This could've been a lot better for a first game, for these kinds of players.

"We have to keep looking for our team's identity, but we are running out of time", Messi said.

Others on social media have picked up on the image, sharing it with similar captions and replies which essentially convey the message that, at least in an Argentina shirt, Messi is very much going to have to do it all on his own.