Messi equals record as Argentina, Chile advance

Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:59am EDT
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(Reuters) - Argentina and Chile advanced to the semi-finals of the Copa America on Saturday with Chile beating Mexico 7-0 and Lionel Messi getting a goal in Argentina's 4-1 win over Venezuela to equal his country's all-time scoring record.

Messi scored in the 60th minute to take his career tally for Argentina to 54 goals, matching the record held by Gabriel Batistuta.

"I am happy to have equaled Batistuta's record but my head is focused on lifting the Copa America," said the five-time World Player of the Year.

"We are doing things right, we are growing and we need to keep down that same road."

Argentina will now face the United States in the first semi-final on Tuesday in Houston.

Reigning champions Chile joined them in the last four after a 7-0 demolition of Mexico in Santa Clara.

Hoffenheim striker Eduardo Vargas scored four goals to help them set up a semi-final date with Colombia on Wednesday.

Messi won the Man-of-the-Match award in an action-packed game against underdogs Venezuela in Foxborough.

Argentina got off to the perfect start after just seven minutes when Gonzalo Higuain dived to turn a delicate cross from Messi past goalkeeper Dani Hernandez.   Continued...

Argentina midfielder Lionel Messi (10) is tripped while being surrounded by Venezuelan players during the second half of Argentina's 4-1 win over Venezuela in quarter-final play in the 2016 Copa America Centenario soccer tournament at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports