Lionel Messi equalled Argentina's all-time appearance record as they ensured their place in the quarter-finals of the Copa America by beating Paraguay 1-0.

The Barcelona forward's 147th cap puts him level with his former club and international colleague Javier Mascherano on the all-time list with Messi on course to break the record during the tournament.

Messi, who turns 34 on Thursday, is already his country's record goalscorer with 73 goals at international level.

The victory in Brasilia was Argentina's second 1-0 win in a row in this tournament and their 16th match without defeat since losing in the Copa America semi-final in 2019.

It gives them seven points from three games and leaves them top of Group A, two points ahead of Chile, four ahead of Paraguay and six ahead of Uruguay.

Bolivia are bottom with no points from two matches so with four of the five teams qualifying for the last eight, Argentina are sure of progressing.

Paraguay had never beaten Argentina over 90 minutes in the Copa America, a run that covers 25 matches, and they were up against it as early as the 10th minute when Argentina went ahead.

Alejandro Gomez ran onto a pass from Angel Di Maria and dinked the ball over the diving keeper.

Argentina thought they had a second when Junior Alonso deflected a cross into his own net on the stroke of half time but the goal was chalked off by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Former Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero made his first international start since November 2019.