Argentina Book Copa America 2024 Final Spot with comfortable Win Over Canada

Julian Alvarez and Lionel Messi, the two goal scorers in the match (Image: @Argentina)

Two goals in two halves saw Argentina, the defending champions, usurp Canada, and secure their place in the Copa America 2024 Final. Julian Alvarez opened the scoring at the halfway mark of the first half, and finally, Lionel Messi got his name back on the scoresheet in the 51st minute, his first in this tournament.

Lionel Scaloni made changes to the line-up, bringing in Angel di Maria and Alvarez alongside Leo Messi, leaving top-scorer Lautaro Martinez on the bench. Canada had a spirited start to the game with more shots in the first ten minutes, but defensive lapses allowed Argentina to capitalise.

A communication gap between the Canadian right-back Alistair Johnston and Moise Bombito in the middle gave Alvarez some space. A lofted, slightly diagonal pass from Rodrigo de Paul from close to the centre-line, found the Argentine number 9 right at the edge of the box. Alvarez controlled the ball brilliantly, shielded it from the defenders, and guided it into the back of the net between the legs of goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau. De Paul’s pass was reminiscent of his assist to Di Maria in the 2021 Copa final against Brazil.

Messi scored one of the easiest goals of his career. Derek Cornelius, lacking presence of mind, re-entered the play from the back line, keeping the Argentina number 10 far from offside. Messi simply had to flick it past Crepeau from a grounded Enzo Fernandez shot. Without Cornelius cancelling the offside, the hockey-like goal would not have stood, as the striker flicked the ball into the net right under the ‘keeper’s nose. Although not a typical Messi goal, it was important in the context of the game, as he had not had the best outings this Copa America. After several chances, he finally got his name on the scoresheet, which should boost his confidence ahead of the final.


Both teams played open football, creating chances at both ends. Moments of decisive errors from Jesse Marsch’s team allowed Argentina to capitalise. However, this has been Argentina’s most confident display of football in this campaign. The Argentine back four looked solid and didn’t give many opportunities for Emiliano Martinez to exercise his skills until the last ten minutes when he seemed a little busier. Rodrigo de Paul had a commendable performance in the Argentine midfield, winning duels and moving the ball forward. His physicality was felt in the midfield area.

It was Alvarez’s ninth goal for the national side. Messi scored his 109th, 14th in Copa America, in his 187th appearance for the national side. Alvarez became the only Argentine, other than Messi, to score a goal both in the World Cup and Copa America semifinal.

In their first Copa America appearance, Canada has shown promise. Jonathan David in attack, Jacob Shaffelburg, and Stephen Eustaquio in the midfield have made their mark in the competition. They’ll play the third-place match on July 14, against the loser of the second semi-final between Uruguay and Colombia.

Lionel Scaloni would be a happy man after this match. Messi getting back to scoring ways and a spirited performance from the team is all they could want ahead of the big final on the 15th, where either opponent has shown the potential to be champions.

It was a packed crowd of 80 thousand at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey; the stadium that will host the FIFA World Cup 2026 Final.