Argentina and Chile advanced to the semi-finals of the Copa America on Saturday with Chile beating Mexico 7-0 and Lionel Messi getting a goal in Argentina's 4-1 win over Venezuela to equal his country's all-time scoring record. Messi scored in the 60th minute to take his career tally for Argentina to 54 goals, matching the record held by Gabriel Batistuta.
"I am happy to have equalled Batistuta's record but my head is focused on lifting the Copa America," said the five-time World Player of the Year.
"We are doing things right, we are growing and we need to keep down that same road."
Argentina will now face the United States in the first semi-final on Tuesday in Houston. Reigning champions Chile joined them in the last four after a 7-0 demolition of Mexico in Santa Clara. Hoffenheim striker Eduardo Vargas scored four goals to help them set up a semi-final date with Colombia on Wednesday. Messi won the Man-of-the-Match award in an action-packed game against underdogs Venezuela in Foxborough.
Elsewhere, Chile were unstoppable in the other quarter-final in Santa Clara as they hammered a surprisingly fragile Mexico. Edson Puch got his first international goal after 15 minutes when he fired home after keeper Guillermo Ochoa could only parry a long-range shot.
"The only thing to say is sorry for the fans and the country," said Mexican midfielder Andres Guardado. "This is a very painful defeat. I am speechless."
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Research Associate at Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University