Argentina’s 2-0 win over Qatar, their victory in Copa America 2019, could be the win they need to kick-start their drive towards the title, captain Lionel Messi said.
Messi and his team came into the match under fire after losing their opener 2-0 to Colombia and then being held 1-1 by Paraguay.
But an early goal from Lautaro Martinez and a late strike from Sergio Aguero sent the Argentines through to the quarter-finals to meet Venezuela in Rio de Janeiro.
“We played a good game and we won, and that was what mattered,” Messi said. We needed a game like this to gain some confidence and calm.
“As we play more games the team grows each one and that game was good for that.”
An impressive double from striker Darwin Machis helped Venezuela book their place in the last eight with a comfortable 3-1 win over Bolivia on Saturday, qualifying as runners-up in Group A behind Brazil.
Machis got Venezuela off to a great start after goalless draws against Peru and Brazil by powering in a header in the second minute before firing home a spectacular goal early in the second half.
Bolivia pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute through Leonel Justiniano but their hopes of grabbing an equaliser proved short-lived as Josef Martinez hit a third for Venezuela shortly after.
Elsewhere in the Copa America, Colombia enjoyed a 1-0 win over Paraguay despite fielding a second-string side to make it a clean sweep of victories in the group stage.
Colombia were guaranteed a place in the last eight as Group B winners and made 10 changes from the side that beat Qatar in their last outing.
It set up a clash with Chile, who claimed a 2-1 win over Ecuador to ensure their title defence remained alive.
Copa America live stream – how to watch for free
Argentina vs Venezuela kicks off at 8pm in the UK, with Colombia vs Chile getting underway at midnight.
Live television coverage can be found on Premier Sports 1 throughout the UK and Ireland.
A subscription to the service costs £9.99 per month, which Sky and Virgin customers can add to their packages.
Live streaming is available at the same price via the Premier Sports app and through their online player.
However, there is a way to watch both matches for free.
Selected UK betting sites will be streaming coverage of the action at no cost via their platforms.