Messi scores in Argentina's win

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June 20, 2016

Lionel Messi made his first start of the Copa America tournament and tied a national record with his 54th international goal as Argentina defeated Venezuela 4-1 on Saturday to set up a semi-final match against the United States.

In Saturday's other quarter final, Eduardo Vargas scored a career-high four goals and Edson Puch added two as Chile, the defending Copa America champions, routed Mexico 7-0.

Messi's goal in the 60th minute gave Argentina a 3-0 lead and equalled the Argentine record for most international goals set by Gabriel Batistuta, according to Argentina's governing body. The Barcelona star also took over the Copa America scoring lead with his fourth goal of the tournament.

Argentina now has two days to rest before playing the U.S. in Houston tomorrow. The Americans have been off since beating Ecuador on Thursday.

With many in the Foxborough, Massachusetts, stadium wearing number 10 from Messi's national team and La Liga jerseys, the five-time FIFA Player of the Year started the game after playing a total of just 74 minutes in the three group stage matches.

Just eight minutes in, he connected with Gonzalo Higuain on a long entry pass to make it 1-0.

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