Hello and welcome to Sports Mole
's live text coverage of the Copa America
group-stage clash between Qatar
at Arena do Gremio in Porto Alegre.
La Albiceleste know that only victory will do if they are to advance through to the knockout stages after losing to Colombia and drawing with Paraguay in their first two matches.
The same scenario applies to Qatar after the 2022 World Cup hosts claimed a surprise draw with Paraguay at the beginning of the tournament, before losing to Colombia.
QATAR TEAM NEWS!
STARTING XI: Al Sheeb; Al Rawi, Khoukhi, Salman; Miguel, Al Haydos, Al Hajri, Hatim, Boudiaf; Afif, Ali
SUBS: Al Ahrak, Al Bakri, Moein, Al Aeldin, Ismaeil, Hassan, Afif, Fathy, Mohammed
ARGENTINA TEAM NEWS!
STARTING XI: Armani; Saravia, Foyth, Otamendi, Tagliafico; De Paul, Paredes, Lo Celso; Messi, Martinez, Aguero
SUBS: Dybala, Pizarro, Matchesin, Pereyra, Musso, Suarez, Pezzella, Di Maria, Casco, Rodriguez, Acuna, Funes Mori
Aguero returns up top in one of three changes from the draw with Paraguay, joining Messi and Martinez in attack. As for Qatar Al Hajri and Boudiaf replace the suspended duo of Madibo and Hassan. The home team get this massive game up and running!
Foyth is making his competitive debut for Argentina at the back tonight, so Scaloni has taken a big gamble. Something had to change and the man in charge will hope he now has the right balance. Argentina have dominated possession early on.
GOAL! QATAR 0-1 ARGENTINA (LAUTARO MARTINEZ)
Messi and Martinez were both off target with presentable opportunities in the first few minutes, but the latter makes no mistake with this one! Al Rawi passed the ball straight to the forward and he tucked it past Al Sheeb with a good finish.
That goal makes a world of difference for Argentina as it lifts them into second place in the Group B standings, meaning that they will be joining Colombia in the last eight as things stand. Scaloni's men have started the match brilliantly.
Aguero is unable to bring the ball under control in the box and what could have been a good chance for Argentina goes begging. This is much more like it from the heavyweight nation - they look good value for a few goals today.
Qatar have finally managed to settle down a little. They are starting to knock the ball around but they have yet to really get the ball into the final third of the field. Still, this is a better passage of play from them.
Aguero is desperate to get a shot away inside the box but the ball does not fall for him. He manages to scoop it towards the back post but Lo Celso's attempt is pretty poor, sending the ball flying high into the stands.
It has been all Argentina so far in terms of possession and that does not look like changing. For as long as it stays 1-0, though, Qatar always have a chance. Boudiaf concedes a free kick for his challenge on Messi.
Tagliafico heads the ball wide from a corner. Before that Armani read the danger well to collect the ball, saving his side. Qatar are certainly not out of this match just yet - Argentina really could do with a second goal.
The ball is played in from the right and Almoez Ali very nearly brings it under control. The striker cannot quite do so, though, and Armani is able to gather.
CHANCE! The ball falls nicely for Aguero this time but he scuffs the ball wide of the target. That is the best chance of the match for Argentina since they edged in front. Qatar are holding on a little at the moment.
Lo Celso clips the ball towards the back post but Aguero cannot get his head on the end of it. Argentina are probing away but, that chance for Aguero a few minutes ago aside, they are not doing enough to trouble their opponents' backline.
Qatar are showing good patience in an attempt to pull Argentina around the pitch but they need to be a little more direct. Scaloni's side are looking pretty comfortable but they could so with a second around about now to settle the nerves.
GROUP B UPDATE! Gustavo Cuellar has given Colombia the lead against Paraguay in the other Group B match, which is ultimately good news for Argentina. It means that as things stand they are going through in second place.
The goal aside, Qatar keeper Al Sheeb has not had anything to do. A free kick is won in a promising position 25 yards from goal and is clipped into the middle, but the guest nation deal with the danger. It remains 1-0 in Porto Alegre.
This match is starting to go a similiar way to Argentina's other matches in the competition. They have looked comfortable at times but they need to score a second goal to give themselves some breathing space. There's not a great deal happening at the moment.
Tagliafico tracks the run of Miguel. Moments later, Otamendi is the player well positioned to deny the Asian side a sight at goal. Qatar are giving as good as they get.
Al Sheeb races off his line to punch a free kick clear. From the next delivery, the ball is glanced over by Otamendi - he should have been doing better. Argentina are desperately trying to build some momentum, but the majority of their attacks are being broken up.
Qatar, who made a massive mistake for Argentina's opening goal, are almost the victims of their own downfall again. They get away with this latest piece of slack play, though, and it remains 1-0.
This is a good move from Qatar. The ball is swung into the box after a number of passes and two players throw themselves at it, but neither can get a telling touch. The offside flag went up, anyway, so it would not have counter.
CHANCE! Qatar are struggling again. They fail to clear the ball and Martinez's weak effort is stopped on the line by Al Rawi. A second goal before half time would be massive for Argentina, otherwise they will still have a lot of work to do.
YELLOW CARD! Lo Celso is cautioned for a foul on Khoukhi and then Foyth joins his team-mate in the referee's book for catching Ali. Further punishment could follow as Qatar have a free kick around 22 yards from goal - and the angle works in Al Rawi's favour.
OFF THE POST! So nearly an equaliser for Qatar right at the end of the first half! Al Rawi takes on the free kick and clips the outside of the post. Armani got across to his right and probably would have had it covered had it been a couple of inches to the right.
HALF TIME: QATAR 0-1 ARGENTINA
Martinez's strike after four minutes is the difference between the sides at half time. Argentina were the better side but they did not create much after opening the scoring and Qatar hit the post right at the end of the half.
Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martinez
fired over in the space of a minute early on, but the latter made no mistake when the only big chance of the first half fell his way four minutes in.
Qatar defender Bassam Al Rawi passed the ball straight to Martinez and he slotted it past Saad Al Sheeb to give Argentina a crucial lead.
La Albiceleste struggled to create much beyond that point in the opening 45 minutes, however, with Sergio Aguero
- restored to the side today - scuffing wide from a good position and Martinez seeing a goal-bound shot blocked on the line.
The man at fault for Argentina's opener nearly levelled before half time as Al Rawi's free kick curled around the wall but clipped the outside of the post.
QATAR SUBS: Al Ahrak, Al Bakri, Moein, Al Aeldin, Ismaeil, Hassan, Afif, Fathy, Mohammed
ARGENTINA SUBS: Dybala, Pizarro, Matchesin, Pereyra, Musso, Suarez, Pezzella, Di Maria, Casco, Rodriguez, Acuna, Funes Mori
KICKOFF: Qatar, who matched Argentina for possession in the first half, get us back up and running at Arena do Gremio. Argentina are through to the last eight as Group B runners-up as things stand - can they hold on for the next 45 minutes?
Messi tries - and fails - to play Aguero through on goal. Afif is played in down the left as Qatar get the ball forward, but he is unable to break into the box as Foyth comes across to foul him.
The Qatar free kick is pretty poor, with Armani able to gather to take some of the pressure off his side. The tournament guests - they were invited to take part along with Japan - have started the second half well with some high pressing.
Argentina turn over possession and the ball is pulled back for Aguero, whose attempt from 18 yards is pretty tame - again! Al Sheeb is able to gather the ball in a routine manner.
Messi, who never quite looks the same player at international level, drives towards goal but is scythed down. We have played nearly 10 minutes of the second half and La Albiceleste have not offered a great deal so far.
SUB! Acuna is on for Lo Celso in Argentina's first change of the match. Scaloni's men have faded and need a lift with more than half an hour still to play. There is a point there for the taking as far as Qatar are concerned!
Messi has shifted to the right but he is having no joy down that flank, either. The ball is played to the edge of the ball and then clipped into the middle, but Qatar deal with is comfortably enough. Argentina are lacking ideas.
Colombia are still 1-0 up against Paraguay in the other Group B match, so Argentina are holding onto second place. Afif is flagged for offside but replays show that Foyth may have been keeping him on.
Paredes picks out Messi, who creates some space for himself before shifting the ball to Aguero. The striker's first touch is good and he manages to get a shot away, which deflects off Boudiaf and behind for a corner.
SAVE! Argentina are enjoying pretty much their best spell of the match as Otamendi nearly directs the corner on target. Scaloni's men come forward again and Al Sheeb gets down to keep out Aguero's well-struck shot.
Ali is lucky to still be on the field. The Qatar striker has already been booked and he has just thumped the ball into the ground after a decision went against him. The referee Julio Bascunan warns him to be careful.
SAVE! Aguero is growing more and more into the game. He works some space for the shot and manage to find the target, but it is a little too central to beat Al Sheeb. Scaloni's side are closing in on that all important second goal.
Salman is down injured, leading to a stoppage in play. Sanchez may well be forced into a change with 20 minutes to go. Only one sub has been made by both managers combined so far - Acuna for Lo Celso after 55 minutes.
SHOT! This is a big let-off for Argentina. The ball is given away and Afif has a chance to set himself for the shot, but he is unable to seriously test Armani. Afif had options either side of him and probably should have used them.
PENALTY APPEAL! Aguero argues that he was dragged to the ground inside the box but the referee disagrees. It goes to VAR but they agree with the referee's call - Aguero appeared to lean into Khoukhi in an attempt to win the penalty.
CHANCE! The ball is pulled back to Messi on the penalty spot but the ball bobbles just as he hits it and ends high in the stands - a shocker of an attempt from the world's best player. Argentina have had good chances to put the game to bed.
ARGENTINA SUB! Goalscorer, and possible matchwinner, Martinez is replaced by Dybala for the final 12 minutes or so. Boudiaf was booked just before that second Argentina change for catching Paredes from behind.
Dybala is unable to pick out the target from what was pretty much his first touch of the ball. Qatar have also made a change now as Al Ahrak replaces Al Hajri. Can the Asian side find a way through to shake up Group B?
GOAL! QATAR 0-2 ARGENTINA (SERGIO AGUERO)
That should do it! Argentina have a second goal that will surely seal their place in the last eight, and Aguero is the man to score it. He managed to get away from a couple of opposition players and then fired the ball across Al Sheeb.
ARGENTINA SUB! Foyth is on a yellow and Scaloni clearly does not want to take any risks, so on comes Pezzella to help see out the game. Ismaeil is on for Miguel in the wide area in Qatar's latest change.
Qatar can be pleased with their efforts in South America over the last week or so, but their campaign is about to come to an end. Argentina are deserving winners on the basis of the 90 minutes, but they have been given a run for their money.
Colombia remain 1-0 up against Paraguay so it looks as though Group B will remain as it is. Al Ahrak is shown a late yellow card after catching De Paul. We are now into the final minute of normal time in Porto Alegre.
Four minutes have been added on at the end of the match. Qatar are currently in possession but they are at the wrong end of the pitch. Pezzella, who came on for Foyth a little earlier, is penalised for catching his opponent.
Armani gathers a loose ball in the box and that should be that. Argentina have done what was asked of them tonight and they will join Brazil, Colombia and likely quarter-finals opponents Venezuela in the next round.
FULL TIME: QATAR 0-2 ARGENTINA
Argentina are through to the quarter-finals of the Copa America thanks to a 2-0 win over Qatar in their final Group B match.
La Albiceleste needed a win to claim second place in Group B and they edged in front inside four minutes in Porto Alegre courtesy of Martinez's strike following a defensive error.
The second goal arrived late in the match as Aguero picked out the bottom corner of the net to keep his side in the competition, despite their underwhelming group record.
That concludes Sports Mole
's live text coverage of events from Arena do Gremio.
An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here and be sure to join us next week as we bring you updates from the quarter-finals involving Argentina and Brazil. See you then!