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Messi Scores First Goal to Secure Argentina’s Spot in Final


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Lionel Messi scored his first goal of the 2024 Copa América, and his 14th in the tournament overall to seal Argentina’s 2-0 semi-final victory over Canada in front of more than 80,000 fans the MetLife Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Argentina captain deflected an Enzo Fernández shot into the net from close range early in the second half, securing his team’s place in Sunday’s final.

Argentina’s first-half performance was dissapointing, with Canada showing more energy and creating several promising attacks.

Nashville SC forward Jacob Shaffelburg had two good chances within the first 10 minutes but failed to convert.

Messi fired just wide from 18 yards for Argentina’s only effort on goal during the opening exchanges.

It was a stroke of luck that saw Argentina take the lead on 22 minutes through Julián Álvarez, who latched onto Rodrigo De Paul’s through-ball and evaded the desperate challenge of Moïse Bombito before scoring.

Argentina started the second period assertively, and they were quickly rewarded when Messi got the slightest of touches to divert Fernández’s effort past Maxime Crépeau in the 51st minute.

This goal marked Messi’s 14th in Copa América and his 109th in 186 caps for the national side.

Messi looked sharper and fitter than in the quarter-final, and he completed the full 90 minutes, relieving fears about his adductor injury.

Argentina will face either Uruguay or Colombia in the final at the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium.

This article was updated 2 weeks ago

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