Lautaro Martinez Warns Argentina Teammates: “We Must Reach Copa America Quarter-Finals”

Lautaro Martinez has warned his Argentina teammates they cannot afford to suffer the humiliation of a group stage exit at the Copa America.

The Inter striker played 67 minutes of last night’s 1-1 draw against Paraguay, winning the penalty that Lionel Messi scored to level the match.

Lionel Scaloni’s side have taken just one point from their first two Group B fixtures and must beat Qatar on Sunday to ensure a place in the quarter-finals.

“We weren’t able to find the winning goal but I think we improved from the first match against Colombia,” Lautaro told Dazn.

“We controlled the first half but Paraguay scored from their first attack with a nice counterattack from Miguel Almiron.

“After that we reorganised our ideas and in the second half you saw the difference between the sides with our attacking substitutions.

“We attacked more and had all of the possession while Paraguay only thought about defending. Now we have a difficult match which we have to win to qualify.”

Lautaro reacted angrily to being taken off midway through the second half after taking a knock in the lower back.

The forward admitted he could have continued if Scaloni had not replaced him with Angel Di Maria.

“The medical staff gave me a massage at half-time and I tried to keep moving to avoid an injury,” Lautaro added.

“I could have continued playing but the coach decided to take me off.”

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