Pan American Games: Gaich, Lomónaco & Valenzuela fire Argentina into semi-finals (VIDEO)

Argentina bounced back from defeat to Mexico to secure a place in the Pan American Games semi-finals with a 3-1 win over Panama.

An unfortunate loss to Mexico on Thursday left Argentina needing a win to be sure of a place in the next round and despite making life difficult, La Albiceleste did just that.

One of the few stars of Fernando Batista’s under-20 World Cup squad Adolfo Gaich has already proved his worth in Lima and it took only four minutes for the San Lorenzo striker to volley Argentina in front. Gaich’s fourth goal in the tournament in three games making the 20-year-old the leading scorer.

Inside the opening quarter of an hour it was two, Sebastián Lomónaco, a recent signing for Superliga side Godoy Cruz from Arsenal, finding the top corner from 25 yards to put Argentina in control.

However, an error from goalkeeper Facundo Cambeses allowed Jordan Aguilar to pull one back for Panama just before the break.

When defender Leonel Mosevich was sent off shortly after the restart, Argentina’s second red card in Peru, it would have been easy for Batista’s side to crumble.

But Argentinos Juniors full-back Aaron Barquett came on for Ignacio Aliseda to shore things up and ten minutes from time the result was sealed.

Sloppy play from the Panama backline gave possession away to Carlos Valenzuela and the Barracas Central forward produced an outstanding outside-of-the-boot finish into the top corner.

A sensational goal to wrap up the win and secure Argentina’s place in the semi-final. The winner of Group B will be their opponents and unless Honduras defeat Uruguay it will be the old Rio Platense rivals.

Argentina: Facundo Cambeses; Marcelo Herrera, Leonel Mosevich, Joaquín Novillo, Facundo Medina; Fausto Vera (Aníbal Moreno), Santiago Colombatto; Carlos Valenzuela, Ignacio Aliseda (Aaron Barquett), Sebastián Lomónaco (Lucas Necul); Adolfo Gaich

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