The 2015 Copa America finalists Argentina are through to the semi finals of this year’s edition after thumping Venezuela 4 – 1 in the third quarter final clash staged at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Sunday 19 June.
Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuain, who had not scored a goal in the 2016 edition opened his account in the game with an eighth minute goal as Messi, who was starting in his first game at the tournament, turned provider.
Higuain completed his brace on the 28th minute to grant the Albiceleste a comfortable lead heading to the break.
On resumption, Argentina’s dominance continued and on the hour mark new Atletico Madrid signing Nicolas Gaitan provided the assist for Messi to get his fourth goal at the tournament after his hat trick against Panama at the group stages.
Argentina then conceded their second goal of the tournament when Salomon Rondon netted on the 70th minute what turned to be a consolation goal for Venezuela.
However, the three – goal cushion for Argentina was restored almost immediately when Erik Lamela, a second half sub, netted the fourth on the 71st minute, just four minutes after coming on for Gaitan.
With the win, Argentina will take on hosts USA in the semi final on Wednesday 22 June.