Argentina see off Venezuela to set up titanic Brazil clash

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Argentina's Lionel Messi(R) competes with Junior Moreno of Venezuela during the Copa America 2019 quarterfinal match between Argentina and Venezuela, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 28, 2019. Argentina won 2-0. (Xinhua/Xin Yuewei)

Argentina got past Venezuela 2-0 in the Copa America quarterfinals on Friday and set up a semifinal clash against hosts Brazil.

There was constant pressure on the Venezuelan backline as Argentina dominated the possession from the start. Argentina, the 14-time champions of the tournament, got the first goal in the 10th minute thanks to a smart deflection by Lautaro Martinez off a shot from Sergio Aguero.

Giovani Lo Celso took advantage of a mistake by Venezuelan goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez and struck home in the 74th minute.

It's another improved performance from Argentina which began the tournament with a 2-0 defeat to Colombia and a 1-1 draw with Paraguay in group stage. The team then defeated Asian champions Qatar in their last group match to secure the booth in the quarterfinals.

Argentina have not beaten Venezuela in their previous three meetings, with two draws in the Russia World Cup qualifying and a defeat in a friendly match this year.

Argentina, bidding to end a 26-year wait for a major international trophy, will take on Brazil who defeated Paraguay 4-3 in a penalty shootout to reach the semifinals on Thursday. 

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