BRASILIA: Argentina and Chile on Monday booked their places in the Copa America quarterfinals, ending top of Group A after low-scoring matches that left the other two spots up for grabs.
Argentina logged its second win in three group matches played, beating Paraguay 1-0, with Alejandro "Papu" Gomez scoring the sole goal of a lacklustre match in Brasilia in the ninth minute.
The win placed Lionel Messi's La Albiceleste top of Group A with seven points -- enough to secure its spot in the next phase of the tournament being played in empty stadiums in coronavirus-battered Brazil.
The match marked a personal milestone for Messi, who tied Javier Mascherano's record for the most games played for Argentina -- 147.
But it was not a night of glory for Messi or his team, which in the second half seemed to resign themselves to defending a spirited, but ultimately fruitless, Paraguayan attack.
In the other match, Chile drew 1-1 with Uruguay to end the day with five log points.
Luis Suarez ended a goal scoring drought for Uruguay that threatened to go a fifth straight game.
The veteran striker's 66th-minute equalizer helped Uruguay to 1-1 draw against Chile at the Copa America on Monday, its first point of the tournament.
The result allows Chile to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament and keeps the Uruguayans in contention in Group A.
Chile's Eduardo Vargas opened the scoring in the 26th with a powerful crossed shot from the right, and Suarez levelled the score from close range.
With four matches left to play in Group A, Paraguay has three points, Uruguay one, and Bolivia zero, meaning they all still stand a theoretical chance to go to the quarter-finals.
Brazil has already qualified from Group B. Agencies
GROUP A STANDINGS
Pos Team P W D L GD Pts
1 Argentina 3 2 1 0 2 7
2 Chile 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Paraguay 2 1 0 1 1 3
4 Uruguay 2 0 1 1 -1 1
5 Bolivia 2 0 0 2 -3 0