Weblog: The football punter

Lionel Messi's men can claim third place

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Argentina have argued that poor refereeing contributed to their 2-0 loss to Brazil in the Copa America semi-finals, but they can dust themselves down and finish third by defeating Chile in Sao Paulo.

It has been a disappointing tournament for Argentina, who still don't seem to be making the most of their immense attacking talent.

However, there were positives to take from the loss to Brazil because it was probably their best performance of the tournament.

They won the shot count 14 to four but failed to take their chances with Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi striking the woodwork.

The big positive after the match was the reaction of Messi, who reaffirmed his long-term commitment to the national team.

It seems likely Messi will stay in the side and his quality could unhinge Chile, who may still be smarting from a surprise 3-0 loss to Peru in the semi-finals.

The draw had opened up for the holders, who finished second in Group C following a 1-0 loss to Uruguay.

However, it has became clear that Chile are a pale shadow of the side who triumphed in 2016 and they are likely to suffer their third defeat of the competition.


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Match in Focus


Senegal v Algeria

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Senegal have conceded only two goals in their last 12 matches.
Expert verdict
Senegal were edged out in a tight contest against Algeria in the group stages but the Lions of Teranga get their chance to exact their revenge and they can win when it matters most to claim their maiden Africa Cup of Nations title.They have kept clean sheets in five of their six games and, although the opposition they have faced can be questioned, it is easy to see why opposition struggle with Kalidou Koulibaly, Cheikhou Kouyate and Alfred N'Diaye in their ranks.