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Jul 9, 2024 10:08 pm

Lionel Messi, Argentina roll past Canada into Copa final

argentina, canada

Lionel Messi scored his first goal in Copa America 2024, helping defending champion Argentina defeat Canada 2-0 on Tuesday in a semifinal match at East Rutherford, N.J.

Argentina will play either Uruguay or Colombia in the final at Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday in pursuit of its record 16th Copa America championship. Uruguay also has 15 titles.

Messi, who was hampered by a groin/thigh injury earlier in the tourney, looked reinvigorated on a hot and humid night playing on a sand-laden, natural-grass field.

After Julian Alvarez scored in the 22nd minute, Messi made it 2-0 in the 51st minute when he used his left foot to redirect a shot by Enzo Fernandez. It wasn’t a typical Messi goal, but it still counted as his 109th for his country and 14th in his Copa America career.

Earlier, Messi brought the crowd of 80,102 to its feet in the 12th minute when he whipped a shot from the edge of the box a foot outside the right post.

Alvarez, who scored the first goal of the tournament on June 20 in the 2-0 win over the Canadians, did it to them again after Argentina absorbed some early forays into its end by the lone remaining CONCACAF representative.

Rodrigo De Paul was near midfield when he sent a through ball forward. Alvarez, who plays for Manchester City, perfectly timed his run and with one touch pushed the ball ahead of the back line. He tracked the ball to score from the top of the box.

Canada’s best chance to tie came two minutes into first-half stoppage time off a throw-in when Jonathan David tried to beat Emiliano Ramirez at the near post but was denied.

Argentina had the advantage in shots on goal (3-2) and shot attempts (11-9).

–Field Level Media

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