Argentina defeats Canada and is once again in the Copa América final

Argentina triumphed over Canada with a 2-0 victory, securing their spot in the Copa América final for the fourth time in the last five editions. Goals from Julián Alvarez and Lionel Messi, who scored his 14th Copa América goal, highlighted the match.

SoccerDino, Website Writer
Published: 12:07, 10 Jul 2024

Titleholders Argentina fulfilled expectations by dominating and defeating debutants Canada 2-0 to secure their fourth appearance in the Copa América final in the last five editions, in East Rutherford.

After a couple of early scares, the world and Finalissima champions took the lead in the 23rd minute through Julián Alvarez. They scored their second goal at the beginning of the second half, in the 51st minute, with Lionel Messi netting his first goal of the tournament.

Messi's goal his 14th in the history of the competition in 38 games, making him only the second player to score in six editions, replicating Brazil's Zizinho (1942 to 1957) practically decided a match that was always under Argentina's control.

In the final, scheduled for Sunday, the Albiceleste, runners-up in 2015 and 2016 and champions in 2021, will be seeking their 16th title, facing either Uruguay, who also have 15 titles, or Colombia, champions in 2001.

Regarding the quarterfinals, Scaloni made strategic changes by replacing Molina, Nico González, and Lautaro Martínez with Montiel, Di Maria, and Julián Alvarez. Meanwhile, Canada's coach Jesse Marsh brought in Ismaël Koné instead of Osorio.

Argentina started the game aiming to dominate through ball possession, but it was Canada, restless, who made the first two shots, both by Sheffelburg in the 5th and 7th minutes. Messi responded with a shot in the 12th minute.

Realizing they couldn't leave themselves exposed, the Albiceleste took a more controlled and cautious approach. They managed to score in the 23rd minute when De Paul set up Álvarez, who beat Bombito and placed the ball between Crépeau's legs.

With the lead, the world champions gained even more dominance. With patience, they continued to create chances to score a second goal, which Di María (34 minutes) and Messi (44 minutes) came very close to achieving.

In stoppage time, at 45+2 minutes, after a long period away from Argentina's goal, Canada created danger, but Dibu stopped David's shot following a throw-in from Johnston.

The second half brought no surprises, with Argentina dominating and scoring their second goal in the 51st minute. After a throw-in, Messi set up De Paul, Koné cut it off but to Enzo, who shot, with the captain deflecting it past Crépeau.

With a two-goal lead, Scaloni's eleven slowed down significantly, managing the game, which dragged on until the end. At the 61st minute, Álvarez could have scored again, but after being set up by Di María, the Canadian goalkeeper denied him the goal.

During this phase, substitutions were plentiful. Otamendi came on at the 64th minute, and Di María, who played for Benfica in 2023/24, left the field at the 78th minute for Argentina. Porto's Stephen Eustáquio, who was yellow-carded at the 63rd minute, was substituted at the 72nd minute for Canada.

Near the end, the Canadians had two good opportunities to narrow the gap and unsettle the Argentinians. However, Dibu saved Osorio's shot with his feet in the 89th minute, and Oluwaseyi, in an excellent position, headed wide in the 90th minute.

Thus, Argentina qualified for the final on Sunday, while debutant Canada will compete for the bronze on Saturday. This victory reinforces Argentina's position as a dominant force in the tournament, showcasing their depth, strategy, and resilience.

Updated: 12:07, 10 Jul 2024