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Messi on target as Argentina beat Canada 2-0 to reach Copa America final

In New Jersey, defending champions Argentina secured their spot in the Copa America final with a 2-0 victory over Canada on Tuesday. Goals from Julian Alvarez and Lionel Messi sealed the win for Argentina, who will now face either Uruguay or Colombia in Sunday’s final in Florida. For key senior players like Messi, Angel Di Maria, and Nicolas Otamendi, this final could mark their last opportunity for international silverware.

Reflecting on their journey, Messi expressed joy and awareness of the significance of reaching another final with the national team. Argentina, holders of a joint-record 15 Copa America titles, faced a challenging start against Canada, with Jacob Shaffelburg missing early chances. However, Argentina took the lead through Alvarez’s 22nd-minute goal, assisted by Rodrigo De Paul.

Despite Canada’s efforts, including a close chance by Jonathan David just before halftime, Argentina extended their lead in the 51st minute when Messi redirected Enzo Fernandez’s shot into the net. This goal not only bolstered Argentina’s position but also moved Messi to joint fifth in the all-time Copa America scorers’ list and elevated him to second place in the overall international scoring charts with 109 goals for Argentina.

Despite Canada’s strong performance throughout the tournament, highlighted by midfielder Stephen Eustaquio, who noted their opportunities early in the match, the loss concluded their impressive run in the semi-finals. Canada’s achievements in defying expectations and outperforming higher-ranked CONCACAF teams like Mexico and the United States showcased their progress.

Overall, Argentina’s victory sets the stage for an eagerly anticipated final as they pursue yet another Copa America title, with Messi and his teammates aiming to secure a memorable triumph in what could be a pivotal moment for their international careers.

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