Hello and Welcome to CricketCountry’s live coverage of Group D match of Copa America Centenario 2016 between Argentina and Panama. The match is scheduled to be played at Chicago. The match is a huge booster for the Argentine as FIFA World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi is set to return from an injury. In the absence of Messi, the other stars of Argentina, Angel Di Maria and Ever Banega stepped up as they beat defending champions Chile. It was a revenge game as Chile is the same side that defeated Messi’s Argentina in the final of Copa America 2015. The winner of the game between Argentina and Panama will bag the pole position in Group D.

Well all we can remember from this game is the brilliance of Lionel Messi! Thank you for staying tuned! Goodbye! Hail Messi!

Argentina are into the knock-out stages of Copa America Centenario!

Well, from 1-0 at half-time to 5-0 at the end; Panama reduced to 10-men had no answer to the genius Lionel Messi! He scored a hattrick within no time! And even provided a crucial pass in the build up for the 5th goal! Panama looked tired and down; Argentina just blew them away! Complete performance from Lionel Messi’s team this!

FULL TIME: Argentina win 5-0 against Panama

A long range pass from Messi finds Rojo who provides a pass to Aguero who scores!

89 mins: Goalllllll!!! Its 5-0 Aguero the scorer!!!!!

Another curling shot from Messi!

87 mins: Goalllllllll! Messsiiii oh boy! Hattrick for Leo Messi! And he hasn’t even played for 30 mins!

84 mins: Aguero ruled offside after he had put the ball in to the net! Correct call!

81 mins: Argentina are surely in the mood now to score more! Can Messi get a hattrick? He can do anything! That was his 52nd international goal by the way.

77 mins: What can you say! He is so good! And he’s back! Bend, dip, pace that free-kick had everything! Argentina lead 3-0

77 mins: Goalllllllll! Messi takes a freekick from 25 yards out and scores!

75 mins: A number of substitutions here! Luis Tejada on for Blas Perez; Higuain off, Aguero on for Argentina; and Cooper is replaced by Arroyo.

74 mins: Chance there for Panama and a big one! But Quintero misses the opportunity! Went alone, could have made it 2-1

69 mins: Another great effort by Argentina as Banega strikes one just above the cross bar! Penedo was worried for a second there.

68 mins: Panama couldn’t clear the ball from the box, it latched on perfectly to Messi after hitting Lamela’s hand I suppose! But then a lovely finish by Messi who was unmarked!

Argentina lead 2-0 now

68 mins: Goallllllllll! And guess who scores it? Messsssiiii

66 mins: Gaitan receives a yellow card now! Argentina might very soon find another one as Panama looked tired but somewhat resilient in defence.

65 mins: A chance there for Lamela but he couldn’t control the pass and Panama survive yet again.

63 mins: Messi is slowly getting into the game. The crowd cheering more louder than before now.

The crowd goes wild to welcome the little genius! Well then! Can he score?

61 mins: Augusto Fernandez is replaced by Lionel Messi

57 mins: Back-to-back corners for Argentina; They’re looking to make it 2-0

55 mins: Panama get a free-kick

54 mins: Argentina should have made it 2-0 there! But Higuain in spite of being clearing off the centre-backs cannot add find a goal; Still 1-0

51 mins: Ever Banega strikes one from distance but it is saved by Penedo easily

50 mins: Argentina win a corner but Panama survive.

49 mins: Almost an own goal there for Panama; A nervy clearance there yet again!

And we’re off for the second-half

Good news for Argentina! Lionel Messi can be seen warming up!

Nicolas Otamendi‘s goal is still the only goal of the game! Argentina might just run riot from here on as Panama are already down to 10 men

Half-time: Argentina 1, Panama 0

45 mins + 2: A chance there for Higuain, but Panama’s panicky clearance does the job.

45 mins: Two minutes of stoppage time as Panama look to hold on till half-time

41 mins: Di Maria has gone off for Argentina, Lamela comes on for him; although the crowd wanted to see Messi!

30 mins: Red Card for Godoy! Panama are reduced to 10 men

Already 2 Yellow Cards for Argentina:

13 mins: Blas Perez almost equalised for Panama. Just when he beat the Argentine defenders he failed to handle it and missed the opportunity. Perez again, this time he was 6 yards away as he runs but fails again. Poor touch but these are good signs for the underdogs.

8 mins: GOALLLLLLL! Nicolas Otamnetdi puts Argentina ahead early in the first half. A superb free kick from Angel de Maria, is well collected by Otamendi and a header went into the nets leaving the Panama goalie with no answer. It was Otamendi’s just second international goal. Soldier Field stadium erupts!

4 mins: Argentina are in blue and while, Panama are in red. The Argentines immediately win a corner in the seocnd minute on the left side. The falling games have already begun. Banega tries to tackle Gaitan, but Higuain is whistled for foul in the box. Mercado is now down, he seems OK but, he’ll continue.

NOTE: Bolivia will be eliminated today if Argentina beat Panama. Chile move level on points with Panama.

Argentina go with an unchanged side that beat Chile in their previous game.

LIONEL MESSI STARTS ON THE BENCH!

Playing XI:

Argentina: Romero, Mercado, Rojo, Funes Mori, Otamendi, Mascherano, Fernandez, Mascherano, Banega, Gaitan, Higuain.

Panama: Penedo, Machado, Baloy, Miller, Henriquez, Gomez, Godoy, Pimentel, Quintero, Cooper, Perez.

The other Group D teams also played on Saturday. Chile played Bolivia earlier in the day and the match and a late penalty earned by Chile gave them a 2-1 win over these opponents. Meanwhile, Argentina are favourites to win their second game of the Copa America 2016 as they rank No.1 while Panama are No. 52 in the world ranking.

Squads:

Argentina: Nahuel Guzman , Sergio Romero, Mariano Andujar, Marcos Rojo, Facundo Roncaglia, Jonatan Maidana, Nicolas Otamendi, Gabriel Mercado, Ramiro Funes Mori, Victor Cuesta, Augusto Fernandez, Ever Banega, Lucas Biglia, Javier Mascherano, Erik Lamela, Matias Kranevitter, Javier Pastore, Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Gaitan, Angel Di Maria, Ezequiel Lavezzi

Panama: Jose Calderon, Jaime Penedo, Alex Rodriguez, Felipe Baloy, Harold Cummings, Eric Davis, Fidel Escobar, Luis Henriquez, Adolfo Machado, Roderick Miller, Ricardo Buitrago, Armando Cooper, Anibal Godoy , Gabriel Gomez, Amilcar Henriquez, Valentin Pimental, Alberto Quintero, Abdiel Arroyo, Ismael Diaz, Roberto Nurse, Blas Perez, Luis Tejada, Gabriel Torres