Lionel Messi & Argentina end Canada's Copa América run


Canada's Cinderella run at the 2024 Copa América ended Tuesday night with a 2-0 semifinal loss to defending champions Lionel Messi and Argentina.

The Inter Miami CF superstar No. 10 opened his account at the tournament with a deflected goal in the second half, adding to Julián Álvarez's 22nd-minute strike that broke the deadlock at MetLife Stadium.

Canada held their own against the current Copa and FIFA World Cup champions, with Nashville SC winger Jacob Shaffelburg threatening with a long-range effort in the opening minutes.

However, Argentina's quality came through in the decisive moments, particularly when Álvarez latched onto Rodrigo De Paul's through ball and fired past Portland Timbers goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau for the game's opening goal.

Messi put the game away shortly after the break, slightly deflecting Enzo Fernández's shot into the net and leaving Argentina 90 minutes away from a second straight Copa América crown and a record 16th tournament title. They await the winner of Wednesday's Uruguay-Colombia match in Sunday's final at Hard Rock Stadium.


  • 22' - ARG - Julián Álvarez | WATCH
  • 51' - ARG - Lionel Messi | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: They couldn't pull off a miracle against mighty Argentina, but Canada did the next best thing at the 2024 Copa América: they earned instant credibility as an international soccer force to be reckoned with. All this less than two months into Jesse Marsch's tenure as head coach. The future looks promising for Les Rouges ahead of co-hosting the 2026 World Cup, along with the United States and Mexico. First things first, there's third place to play for on Saturday.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Argentina never looked in real danger, but Álvarez avoided any surprises with a classy goal that set the tone of the match.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Relegated to a substitute role off the bench in the quarterfinal, Álvarez made the most of his return to the starting XI with a goal that leaves Argentina one step closer to a historic 16th Copa América title.

Next Up

  • ARG: Sunday, July 14 vs. TBD | 8 pm ET | Final
  • CAN: Saturday, July 13 vs. TBD | 8 pm ET | Third-place match