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Argentina beat Peru to top Copa America Group A

Argentina beat Peru to top Copa America Group A

MIAMI, Fla. – Lautaro Martinez scored twice in the second half to help Argentina’s second team beat Peru 2-0 in the Copa America on Saturday, finishing top of Group A and eliminating Peru from the tournament.

Before the match in Miami, Argentina had already qualified for the quarter-finals with victories over Canada and Chile, the other teams in the group.

That assurance allowed the defending champions to rest key players, including captain Lionel Messi, but despite nine changes to their starting line-up, Argentina were largely untroubled by their opponents.

Martinez finished off a fluid move in the 47th minute, coolly chipping the ball over Peru keeper Pedro Gallese, and repeated the trick in the 86th minute, chipping Gallese again for his second goal after some sloppy defending from Peru.

Argentina had an excellent opportunity to extend their lead when they were awarded a penalty for handball in the 72nd minute, but Leandro Paredes hit the post.

They are joined in the knockout rounds by group runners-up Canada, who qualified for the last eight after holding Chile to a 0-0 draw in the other Group A match. REUTERS