London: Star striker Lionel Messi’s hat-trick helped Argentina to storm into the quarterfinals of the Copa America. Argentina accomplished 5-0 win over Panama in the group stage clash at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The top-ranked team remained dominated throughout the match, with defender Nicolas Otamendi giving his side a lead in the seventh minute of the match.
Messi came on as a substitute for Augusto Fernandez in the 61st minute of the match and went on to smash three back-to-back goals for his side in the 68th, 78th and 87th minute to put Argentina in the driver’s seat, the Guardian reported.
Argentina added fifth goal in their account when Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero netted his 33rd international goal just one minute prior to the full time.
The match also saw Pananam reduce to 10 men in the 31st minute when midfielder Anibal Godoy got a second yellow card for lashing out at Nicolas Gaitan.
Argentina will play their next inconsequintal match against Bolivia at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Wednesday.
(With Agency Inputs)