Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Martino: Argentina well placed ahead of Copa quarters

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Jun 2016

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Argentina coach Gerardo Martino believes his side are looking strong ahead of the Copa America Centenario quarter-finals after topping Group D. 

A 3-0 win over Bolivia on Tuesday confirmed Martino and Co. as group winners, meaning they will face Venezuela in the last eight of the competition. 

Erik Lamela, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Victor Cuesta found the net in the first half of the contest in Seattle, as Argentina dominated the majority of the play. 

Martino believes their perfect record in the group puts them in good stead for the knockout stages, especially with Lionel Messi returning to full fitness, but he is not taking anything for granted. 

“We have a solid team. We played well in the first half [against Bolivia], and that was the difference,” the 53-year-old said post-game. 

“It ended a good first step, but it is useless for what is to come next. But my team is alert.

“We are in a good moment, we have many players recovering from injuries and we’re good for the final stretch.”

Barcelona star Messi played the entire second half at CenturyLink Field, and Martino confirmed the Argentina captain will feature against Venezuela. 

“Leo will play, for sure,” he said. 

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