Messi ends goal drought as Argentina reach Copa final

Messi’s second-half strike was the dagger Argentina needed to advance to the Copa America finals

Lionel Messi broke his Copa America goal drought and Julian Alvarez also found the back of the net as Argentina coasted into Sunday’s tournament final with an relentless 2-0 win over Canada at MetLife Stadium Tuesday night.

The holders turned in an experienced performance against Jesse Marsch’s surprise semi-finalists, taking their chances and limiting their opponents to just one shot on target.

Messi had La Albiceleste’s first chance of the game, firing narrowly wide of the post from outside the box. Alvarez gave Argentina the lead after 23 minutes, running onto Rodrigo de Paul’s pass before finishing past the keeper. Messi should have made it two shortly before half time, but skewed an effort wide after weaving between two Canada defenders.

He made no such mistake after the break, deflecting Enzo Fernandez’s driven strike into the net from close range to double their lead in the 51st minute. Canada, for their part, had chances in the second half, piecing together a number of dangerous attacks. But they lost steam when Alphonso Davies exited the game with an apparent ankle injury with 20 minutes to spare.

From there, La Albiceleste made it look relatively easy. They still threatened on the break, and kept Canada at arm’s length, coasting their way to third straight major tournament final.


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