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Argentina blanks Canada to reach Copa America final

The reigning Copa America Champions have sealed their return to the tournament final.

Argentina blanked Jesse Marsch’s Canada 2-0 on Tuesday evening at MetLife Stadium, advancing to Sunday’s Copa America Final. Julian Alvarez delivered the opening goal in the first half before Lionel Messi iced the result six minutes into the second half.

Emiliano Martinez registered a two-save clean sheet in between the posts.

Alvarez, who scored against Canada in group stage play, netted his second goal of the competition after 22 minutes. Rodrigo De Paul’s through ball pass was slotted home by the Manchester City forward for a 1-0 Argentina lead.

Jonathan David’s left-footed effort just before halftime was repelled by Martinez, keeping the Argentinians in front at the break.

Messi doubled Argentina’s lead six minutes into the second half after a fortunate redirection was finished by the Inter Miami star. Enzo Fernandez’s original effort was redirected by Messi into the back of the net for a 2-0 Argentina lead.

Tani Oluwaseyi had Canada’s last offensive opportunity just before second-half stoppage time, but Martinez was again up to the task to deny the Minnesota United man.

Argentina, who hasn’t lost in its last 10 matches, will now meet either Colombia or Uruguay in Sunday’s final from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.


  1. Congrats to Marsch and Canada. If only they had better quality finishers. They got their fare share of opportunities but just couldn’t put them away.


    ———————-3——ON TARG——-2———————–
    ———————84——PASS ACC—–86%———————

    This is a big accomplishment especially with 1) MLS players doing really well against a top opponent 2) Canada not parking the bus defensively while maintaining possession periodically and 3) the coach / player relationship only existing for a little over a month and they were able to put up those numbers.
    Congrats Marsch!!!!!

    • While I agree with the general tenor of your remarks, the passing accuracy stat is misleading. The difference between Argentina and a top CONCACAF team was the difference in the game. When Argentina would make a long pass, they could hit a teammate in stride. With Canada the pass would often be a step behind, forcing the recipient to wait on the pass or even step back to receive it. So, while both passes were completed, the one hitting the player in stride was much more effective than the pass an attacker had to wait on. It also allowed Argentina time to get defenders on the ball because of the brief interruption in the attack. Add to that the fact that most Argentinian players were better 1 on 1 players (no surprise there) and that’s what results in a 2-0 decision. Colombia vs. Uruguay should be a fun game to watch and be closer.

      • (1) we have taught kids “kickball” is a bad word. it’s fair enough most of the time but i had a couple college assists which were basically “go long.” and you need to have the leg to do it and be able to lead someone 50-60 yards away. (2) i personally feel like this “tiki taka” crap makes the player risk averse and lazy. my favorite adult goal i’m playing right back and it’s the kickoff second half. i noticed how narrow they were all first half. kickoff to LB and i drift way wide on the right. skip pass across the back to me. nothing but green space, i hit a swerver skipping across the ground into the forward’s run, flicks it past the defender, breakaway, goal past the keeper. 3 passes, 10-15 seconds.

        i was taught to favor chances over possession. you take passing risks chasing chances and goals. more specifically about your question, this group is taught to pass the ball a half hour early around the perimeter to a guy standing back to goal with space. i was taught first you get your head up and see if a long play is on, and second, you take on the next defender, commit them, play the ball past them to your diagonals.

        the one bit of copa america where we seemed to be waking up was against uruguay they started playing passes and then following the ball for a flick-on. kind of wall ball. otherwise this offense is like stand around in your respective holes trying to play keepaway when they see you coming. it is only effective as early perimeter balls and you don’t need to learn to commit defenders, lead your runners, or get your head up in general, to play GB’s style.

    • i’m neither going to praise marsch for your belief his team is essence “played the right way” nor praise him for losing. these strike me as contradictory. these strikes me as the mentality of the folks dominating USSF coach hiring for a decade of meh. i remember snobs circa bradley saying they would rather lose or not qualify than play like we did then. they got their wish, in a sense. i prefer winning, and winning tactics.

      i do think there are nights like the brazil friendly when our chance at winning may be to go end to end. but i think that reflected brazil’s qualities and weaknesses, and they were 2nd in group and done in the quarters. i think colombia and uruguay required something else, something more. they are still in the tournament. i think part of that is a functioning defense, which seems to be an afterthought in snob theory. i think beating argentina requires defense, too. i think going end to end with argentina, while pretty and brave, is a losing recipe.

      i also feel like the fanboys ignore the draw in terms of evaluating what happened. setting aside advancing on kicks, Canada’s actual tournament was they beat last place Peru, tied Venezuela and Chile, and lost twice to Argentina.
      people have memories like gnats these days. we had peru down 1-0 most of the game in ’18 under sarachan before yedlin fell asleep and got backdoored, 1-1. we also drew chile 1-1 in ’19 under GB — i think that was the pulisic/zardes breakaway flick goal.

      i think we have stalled out or maybe even regressed, but i don’t think i want the coach who gets canada’s results, either — semis or not — that reminds me of klinsi struggling in ’16.

      • IV,

        “people have memories like gnats these days. we had peru down 1-0 most of the game in ’18 under sarachan before yedlin fell asleep and got backdoored, 1-1. we also drew chile 1-1 in ’19 under GB — i think that was the pulisic/zardes breakaway flick goal.”

        “in terms of evaluating what happened. ”
        Really? Gnats?

        You’re comparing don’t give a shit friendlies to high stress Copa America games- lousy example and very bad comparison.

        Do you really expect anyone to that seriously?

        Over 5 -6 years ago – are any of those Peruvians even playing in Copa America? More malarkey from you.

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