Argentina qualified for the knockout stages with a impressive 5-0 win over Panama, Nicolas Otamendi scored in first half to give Argentina the lead while Lionel Messi came on as second half sub to score a 19 minute hattrick. Sergio Aguero also scored to complete a 5-0 riot.
Argentina now have qualified for the knockout stages and even if they lose their last game they will go into the next round as group winners.
Argentina brushed aside Chile in their opening Copa Centenario game with Di Maria and Banega scoring early in second half. Even without Lionel Messi, Argentina looked like the strongest side in the competition. Messi himself will be available but he might not be used by Gerardo Martino who is eager to give him extra rest after long hard season with Barcelona. Messi is likely to appear only in knockout matches.
Panama on the other hand registered a famous win against Bolivia in their opening fixture. MLS based player Blas Perez scored twice either side of Bolivia’s equalizer by Juan Carlos Arce to win the game for Panama. Now going into the Argentina game, Panama are heavy underdogs and not much is expected from them but a shock win will put them in the knockout stages which means either Argentina or Chile will be going home early.
Match Predictions: Gerardo Martino is likely to start with several second string players but even with team loaded with inexperienced Argentina players they have too much quality for Panama side. I am going with a comfortable 3-0 win for Argentina in this one which will seal their progress to next round.