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  5. Lionel Messi guides Argentina to second-consecutive Copa América final; moves closer to Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi guides Argentina to second-consecutive Copa América final; moves closer to Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi scored Argentina's second goal in the semifinal to put an end to Canada's hopes of making a comeback. This is Argentina's second-consecutive Copa America final appearance. They are the defending champions.

Edited By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: July 10, 2024 9:46 IST
Lionel Messi vs Canada.
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Lionel Messi vs Canada.

Captain Lionel Messi delivered a match-winning performance against Canada in the first semi-final of the ongoing  Copa América to guide Argentina into their second-consecutive final of the tournament.

The defending champions registered a comprehensive 2-0 win over the Copa's last remaining Concacaf nation at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Argentina showcased their supremacy from the outset as Manchester City's forward Julián Àlvarez penetrated the Canadian defence in the 22nd minute of the game and netted the first goal of the fixture.

Argentina dominated possession and went into half-time with a 1-0 lead. Canada's attempt at a resurgence in the second half was dealt a major blow when Messi took centre stage and scored in the 51st minute.

The goal not only put an end to Canada's chances of scripting a fightback but also helped Messi become only the second player to score goals in six editions of the CONMEBOL Copa América alongside Zizinho of Brazil.

Other than 2024, Messi scored in the 2007, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2021 editions of the tournament. On the other hand, Zizinho scored in the six editions of the prestigious tournament held between 1942 and 1957.

The 2011 edition was the only forgettable outing for Messi as he couldn't score a goal in the entire tournament and Argentina had also failed to secure a semifinal berth.

Messi's goal also helped him move past Ali Daei to become the second-leading goal scorer in the history of international football. Messi has scored 109 goals in an Argentina jersey - one more than Iran's Daei.

Messi has moved closer to Cristiano Ronaldo who is the leading goal scorer in international football history.

Meanwhile, the second semifinal of the tournament will be played between Uruguay and a spirited Colombian side at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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