Copa America

Lionel Messi breaks goal-drought as Argentina beat Canada to reach Copa America final

Lionel Messi was in the right place at the right time, using a gentle touch of his legendary left boot to find the back of the net. This marked Messi’s first goal in this summer’s Copa America tournament.

With this victory, Messi and Argentina have a chance to win the championship again. Messi scored a unique goal early in the second half, while Julián Álvarez netted one in the first half, leading Argentina to a 2-0 victory over Canada on Tuesday night during their Copa America semifinal at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

“It’s crazy what this group did, what the Argentine national team has been doing,” Messi said after the game. “After this, much more importance will be given to all the finals that I and all of the old group had to play in.”

Argentina will play in the Copa America final on Sunday in Miami, awaiting the winner of the semifinal between Colombia and Uruguay. This gives Argentina a chance to further cement its soccer dynasty. As the defending World Cup champion, Argentina will pursue its second straight Copa America title, which could be their fourth major international championship in three years, including the 2022 Finalissima win over 2021 Euro champion Italy.

Messi, Argentina’s star, orchestrated another score by slightly touching a shot from Enzo Fernández in the 51st minute to give Argentina a 2-0 lead. This provided the cushion they needed to control the second half against Canada.

Messi had been scoreless through Argentina’s five Copa America matches and missed one on June 29 to nurse a right groin/adductor injury. He returned for the last two matches. Messi was persistent with three shots in the first half, growing increasingly frustrated as he sought to deliver a shining moment during the tournament.

Finally, Messi delivered, though his goal lacked the theatrics that have characterized many others in his illustrious career.

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