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Argentina see off Canada to reach Copa America final

Lionel Messi found the net as Argentina showcased their prowess with a 2-0 victory over Canada on Tuesday, securing a spot in the Copa America final as they pursue a third consecutive major title.

The defending champions produced their most impressive performance of the tournament in front of a packed MetLife Stadium, reminiscent of their 2022 World Cup triumph, suggesting they are hitting peak form at the perfect time.

Canada, making their debut in the Copa America and surprising many with their journey to the semi-finals, deserve credit for their efforts. However, Messi and his teammates proved too formidable on the day.

Under Jesse Marsch’s management, Canada started energetically, with Jacob Shaffelburg missing an early chance. Yet, Argentina soon took control and never relinquished it.

Angel Di Maria, in his final tournament for Argentina, was influential on the right flank, linking up effectively with Messi. Rodrigo De Paul initiated the breakthrough in the 22nd minute, lofting a pass to Julian Alvarez, who expertly finished past goalkeeper Moises Bombito.

The combination play involving Di Maria, Messi, and De Paul continued to trouble Canada, with Di Maria coming close with a chip that narrowly missed the target.

Argentina’s organized yet creative approach, under coach Lionel Scaloni, was evident throughout. Just before halftime, Di Maria set up Messi for a shot that went narrowly wide.

In the second half, Argentina swiftly doubled their lead when De Paul’s cross found Enzo Fernandez, whose shot was redirected into the net by Messi. Despite Canada’s hopes of an offside call, VAR confirmed Messi was onside, cementing Argentina’s advantage.

With a comfortable two-goal lead secured, Argentina managed the game, absorbing pressure and limiting Canada’s chances. Only in the closing stages did Canada threaten Emiliano Martinez’s goal, with substitute Tani Oluwaseyi testing the goalkeeper after a defensive lapse.

Overall, it was a commanding victory for Scaloni’s side, positioning them one step closer to a record 16th Copa America title.

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