Argentina see off Canada to reach Copa America final

By Daily Sports Nigeria on July 10, 2024

Lionel Messi was on target as world champions Argentina turned on the style to beat Canada 2-0 on Tuesday and reach the Copa America final where they will look for a third straight major title.

The defending Copa champions will face the winners of Wednesday’s semi-final between Uruguay and Colombia in what will be a highly anticipated final in Miami on Sunday.

The 15-times Copa champions produced their best display of the tournament in front of a capacity crowd at the 82,500 MetLife Stadium and as in their 2022 World Cup triumph they look to be peaking at the perfect moment.

“The truth is that it’s crazy what this group has done, what the Argentina national team has been doing,” Messi told TyC Sports after his first goal of the tournament.

“It’s not easy for us to be in a final again, for us to compete again to be champions. I’m living it like I lived it in the last Copa America, in the last World Cup…These are the last battles and I’m enjoying them to the maximum,” said the 37-year-old.

Canada, who surprised many by reaching the last four in their first Copa America appearance, can take great credit for their run in the tournament but Messi and company were simply a step too far.

“I think the tournament caught up with us a little bit,” said Canada’s American coach Marsch, who said he noticed that his players looked tired midway through the first half.

“Eventually the physicality and fatigue can catch up with you and that was a big part of what happened with us tonight,” he added.

Marsch’s side had progressed by hitting teams with high-energy football straight out of the gate but after an early opening for left-winger Jacob Shaffelburg, who fired wide after cutting in from the flank, the South Americans took control and never gave it up.

Angel Di Maria, the veteran wide-man playing in his final tournament for his country, was seeing plenty of the ball down the right and he offered an early warning of his threat when he picked out Messi with a ball inside which the forward flashed just wide of the post.

But it was Rodrigo De Paul who was to create the breakthrough in the 22nd minute, picking the ball up on the halfway line, taking a quick glance up and then lofting the ball over the top to Julian Alvarez.

The Manchester City forward recalled to the starting line-up ahead of Lautaro Martinez, delivered a deft first touch that took him away from Moises Bombito and gave him just enough room to drive the ball home.

Source Punch Ng

Posted July 10, 2024


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