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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 July 2007, 06:43 GMT 07:43 UK
Argentina into last eight of Copa

All the latest news from the Copa America in Venezuela.

GROUP C: ARGENTINA 4-2 COLOMBIA

Juan Roman Riquelme
Riquelme netted two goals as Argentina reached the last eight
Juan Roman Riquelme scored twice as Copa America favourites Argentina beat Colombia 4-2 to reach the quarter-finals - although their win was marred by an injury to striker Hernan Crespo.

Colombia, thrashed 5-0 by Paraguay in their opening match, took a shock lead, thanks to a smart backheel from Edixon Perea.

But the Colombians were furious 10 minutes later when Argentina were awarded a penalty after Lionel Messi went down following what appeared to be a 50-50 challenge.

Chelsea striker Crespo converted the spot-kick - which took his international tally to 35 goals and moved him ahead of Diego Maradona and into second place in the list of Argentina's all-time goalscorers.

But Crespo appeared to strain a muscle as he converted the ball and was substituted immediately.

606: DEBATE

The forward, who is still 21 goals behind Gabriel Batistuta's total of 56 international goals, said after the match that he doubts he will play again in the tournament.

Riquelme then put Argentina ahead with a nonchalant low header from near the penalty spot after Javier Zanetti's cross in the 34th minute before firing a free-kick into the bottom right-hand corner in first-half injury-time to make the score 3-1.

Jaime Castrillon pulled one back for Colombia with a header on 73 minutes.

But Argentina held out and in injury time, after Colombia midfielder Jorge Vargas was sent off for a second bookable offence, substitute Diego Milito added a fourth goal.

  • Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano:
    "We won an important match and played well but we have to defend better after a corner-kick. We didn't expect their first goal.

    "It is very difficult to maintain the pace as the temperature makes it very tough. It is hot and we are always trying to attack and have the ball."

  • Colombia's red-carded midfielder Fabian Vargas:
    "There was no reason for the referee to give a penalty and it made Argentina's life easier."

    GROUP C: PARAGUAY 3-1 UNITED STATES

    Paraguay joined Argentina in the Copa America quarter-finals as they beat the United States 3-1 to move top of Group C on goal difference - ahead of the group decider against Argentina.

    Paraguay struck first in the 30th minute, when Oscar Cordozo's beautiful pass between Jimmy Conrad and Sacha Kljestan found Edgar Barreto, who slid the ball past goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

    But the US equalised on 40 minutes when Taylor Twellman controlled a long pass and, with his back to goal, passed to Ricardo Clark, who hit a right-footed shot past Justo Villar.

    Paraguay were forced to replace injured keeper Villar with Aldo Bobadilla after the break and 30 seconds later, Cardozo pounced on a bad backpass to slot home and restore Paraguay's lead.

    The US fought back and substitute Ben Olsen hit the crossbar with a shot, while substitute Bobadilla saved Paraguay three times in the last 10 minutes, turning away a long-range shot from Clark and holding headers from Taylor Twellman and Eddie Johnson.

    Salvador Cabanas converted an injury-time free kick for his third goal in two games.

    The result leaves both the US and Colombia with no points in Group C - but there is an outside chance of qualification for both teams as the two best third-placed teams in the three groups qualify for the last eight.

  • Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino:
    "The difference was defined in the goal box. Both teams had similar chances to convert but we were flawless.

    "It's a little like what happened against Colombia when we beat them 5-0, with more clear goal-scoring opportunities against us this time."

  • US coach Bob Bradley:
    "The result is difficult for us. We feel the effort of the team was strong.

    "Nonetheless, we didn't do very well with some of the chances we created and certainly made a mistake that Paraguay were able to take advantage of."


    Next fixtures (Kick-off times BST):

    Group A Tue 3 July Peru v Bolivia (2335)
    Group A Wed 4 July Venezuela v Uruguay (0150)



    SEE ALSO
    Robinho hat-trick revives Brazil
    02 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Historic win sends Venezuela top
    01 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Tevez nets in Argentina victory
    29 Jun 07 |  Internationals
    Brazil beaten as shocks continue
    28 Jun 07 |  Internationals
    Peru shock Uruguay in Copa opener
    27 Jun 07 |  Internationals
    Tim Vickery column
    02 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Football tries to tackle Venezuela
    25 Jun 07 |  Americas
    S America urges Fifa to lift ban
    15 Jun 07 |  Americas


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