Copa America – Lionel Messi, finally a scorer against Canada (2-0), guides Argentina to the final

Copa America – Lionel Messi, finally a scorer against Canada (2-0), guides Argentina to the final
Copa America – Lionel Messi, finally a scorer against Canada (2-0), guides Argentina to the final

Argentina qualified for their second consecutive Copa America final by beating Canada in the semi-final (2-0), thanks to a goal from their captain Lionel Messi, on Tuesday evening in East Rutherford (United States). Already victorious at the Copa America in 2021, then at the World Cup in 2022, the Albiceleste will defend their title on Sunday in Miami, against the winner of the other semi-final between Colombia and Uruguay on Wednesday.

Big favorites in front of 80,000 spectators at MetLife Stadium, the Argentinians, led by the veteran duo Angel Di Maria (36 years old) and Leo Messi (37) never really trembled against the Canadians, surprising semi-finalists for their very first Copa America. Playing their luck on counterattacks, the Reds created two chances in the first ten minutes, but Jacob Shaffelburg missed his shot each time.

Argentina quickly found the advantage in the middle of a first half that they controlled: from midfield, Rodrigo De Paul served Julian Alvarez in the middle, who got rid of a defender and crucified Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau with a shot between his legs (23rd). The rest of the match was one-sided, even if the Canadians created several chances at the end of the first period and at the very end of the match. Active in the offensive animation, Messi tried his luck in front of goal, but his two shots went wide (12th, 44th) in the first half.

After the break, the “Pulga” was finally rewarded. After an overflow on the right side, the ball, poorly cleared, came back to the feet of Enzo Fernandez, whose shot from the edge of the area found Messi (51st) who deflected into the Canadian goal. The Reds briefly hoped that the VAR would cancel the goal for offside, in vain. With this achievement, the Argentine captain scored his 14th goal in six editions of Copa America (2007, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2021, 2024). Enough to boost his morale after a missed penalty shootout during the session against Ecuador in the quarter-finals.

With this victory, Argentina is now just one match away from a historic treble that would see it win two Copa Americas with a World Cup in between. To do so, it will have to overcome flamboyant Colombia, who were merciless in the quarterfinals against Panama (5-0), or Uruguay, who eliminated Brazil on penalties. Canada will play the loser of this semifinal for third place on Saturday.

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