Saturday, July 13, 2024

Argentina 2-0 Canada: Messi, Alvarez send holders back to final

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Argentina are one win from making it three major tournament wins in a row after beating upstart Canada 2-0 in a 2024 Copa America semifinal on Tuesday.

Julian Alvarez and Lionel Messi scored for the reigning Copa America and World Cup champions, with Enzo Fernandez and Rodrigo De Paul registering assists.

[ MORE: Copa America schedule, bracket ]

Argentina beat Canada 2-0 to open the tournament and the only difference in the knockout rounds was an increased amount of fouls.

The physical affair ended with a few chances for Canada, but the result never felt in the balance.

Marsch’s men run out of magic

Canada fought and fought and fought but could only slip so many punches as Argentina were rarely threatened — at least soccer-wise — on Tuesday.

There were two foul-happy sides but the difference was Argentina turned on the style a few times in a way that Canada’s under-equipped defense could handle.

That will be Marsch’s problem moving forward, and it’s similar to Gregg Berhalter’s problem with the United States men’s national and it comes with less depth than the USMNT — How can Canada stop top teams from producing myriad chances against them on a consistent basis without sacrificing the ability to score themselves?

Argentina’s truly historic run inspires a nation

They are strong at every position, to the extent that 37-year-old Lionel Messi’s strong performances are no longer necessary and at times feel little more than a bonus.

Rodrigo De Paul is fantastic and Enzo Fernandez matched him on Tuesday, while the back line is also strong in front of one of the best keepers in the world.

Argentina is bringing names like Lautaro Martinez, Nicolas Gonzalez, and Nicolas Otamendi off the bench and didn’t even need to call upon Giovani Lo Celso or Alejandro Garnacho.

Not bad. A win on Sunday is on the level of Spain’s 2008-2012 EURO-World Cup-EURO run.

Argentina vs Canada player ratings (from fotmob.com)

Argentina vs Canada player ratings (from fotmob.com)

Argentina vs Canada player ratings (from fotmob.com)

Argentina vs Canada player ratings (from fotmob.com)

What’s next?

Argentina will meet either Colombia or Uruguay at 8pm ET Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Florida.


How to watch Argentina vs Canada, stream link and start time

Kick off: 8pm ET, Tuesday (July 9)
Stadium: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey
How to watch on TV in USA: FS1, Fox Sports


Argentina vs Canada live updates — By Nick Mendola

Argentina vs Canada final score: 2-0

Goalscorers: Alvarez (22′), Messi (51′)

Lionel Messi goal — Argentina 2-0 Canada (51st minute)

It looked like Lionel Messi had poached Enzo Fernandez’s goal, but a closer look sees a diving Maxime Crepeau en route to blocking the shot.

Messi instead gets a touch on the Chelsea man’s shot and registers his first goal of this Copa America.

Halftime — Argentina 1-0 Canada

Last drama at the end of the half.

After Lionel Messi twice missed the goal, Canada go the other way and Jonathan David gets on the end of a long Alistair Johnston throw and is blocked by Emiliano Martinez at close range.

Argentina held 60% of first-half possession, taking eight of the game’s 11 shot attempts, and registering 1.03 xG – 0.28.

A deserved 1-0 lead but Jesse Marsch will know his underdogs are in this.

Julian Alvarez goal! Argentina 1-0 Canada (22nd minute)

It’s a training drill for Argentina.

Rodrigo de Paul is given time and space in midfield and Julian Alvarez makes a run.

Canadian defender Moise Bombito isn’t quick enough to react and he can’t foul Alvarez, who resets himself and slides the ball past Maxime Crepeau.

Both teams have early chances

Canadian attacker jacob Shaffelburg dragged a half-confident shot wide of goal at one end, then Lionel Messi just missed the near post at the other end with a low shot from the edge of the 18.

Messi soon sought to find Julian Alvarez but Canadian keeper Maxime Crepeau snared the entry pass. 0-0 after 15 minutes.

Argentina focus, team news

Lionel Messi was terrific against Canada to start the tournament then good against Chile before missing the Peru match through injury. Ecuador was not his best game and he missed his penalty, but surely we’ll see better in this reunion with Canada. Lautaro Martinez and Julian Alvarez provide punch moving forward as the Argentine side bids to make it a Copa-World Cup-Copa sandwich with two more wins.

Canada focus, team news

Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies have combined for just one goal — Jacob Shaffelburg has the other, but the Canucks’ success has been driven by resolute team play (and, yes, two opposing red cards).

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