2M208Y7 Doha, Qatar, 13th December 2022. Alexis Mac Allister of Argentina during the FIFA World Cup 2022 match at Lusail Stadium, Doha. Picture credit should read: David Klein / Sportimage

Alexis Mac Allister extends Copa America stay after change of position for Argentina

Alexis Mac Allister helped Argentina to a 1-0 win over Chile that booked their place in the Copa America quarter-finals, having taken up a new role.

Argentina are the first nation to ensure a spot in the quarter-finals of this summer’s Copa America, having made it two wins from two on Tuesday night.

They did so in difficult circumstances, waiting until two minutes from time before Lautaro Martinez found the back of the net.

But they can now go into their final game of Group A – against Peru on Saturday night – knowing they are guaranteed to finish at least second.

Mac Allister made his second start of the tournament, doing so in a more conservative role as the deepest-sitting midfielder in Lionel Scaloni’s four-man unit.

In a game that Argentina dominated, though, there was still license for the Liverpool player to push forward.

He largely kept things simple, completing 54 of his 59 attempted passes per FotMob, but still made the joint-most shots of any player (four) including an effort from close range that should have gone in.

TyC Sports‘ Gaston Recondo awarded Mac Allister a seven-out-of-10 rating for his performance, writing: “He played as a No. 5, taking control of the middle. He made everything simple and well. Solid game by Alexis.”

DOHA, QATAR - Saturday, November 26, 2022: Argentina players sing the national anthem before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Mexico at the Lusail Stadium. Guido Rodríguez, Lisandro Martinez, Alexis Mac Allister. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ryan Tolmich, writing for GOAL, was more effusive in his praise as he also gave a seven out of 10.

“Incredible on the ball throughout. His passing was fantastic, but he also had a few chances of his own,” Tolmich wrote.

“Unlucky not to score what would have been a deserved goal.”

It remains to be seen who they will face in the quarter-finals, but Argentina can now look to an extended stay in the United States – which, of course, will impact on Liverpool’s pre-season.

DOHA, QATAR - Saturday, November 26, 2022: Argentina's Alexis Mac Allister during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Mexico at the Lusail Stadium. Argentina won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mac Allister’s side were always expected to go deep into the tournament, but confirmation of their progress means that he could miss the start of the Reds’ tour of the US.

Liverpool face Real Betis (July 27), Arsenal (August 1) and Man United (August 4) on a three-stop trip, with their internationals likely to be given three weeks off before returning.

Arne Slot‘s first sessions will take place at the AXA Training Centre, with his squad due to convene on Merseyside next week.