Messi extends record on Ronaldo as Argentina beat Canada to reach final

Lionel Messi celebrates his goal 2-0 with Enzo Fernandez of Argentina during the CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 Semi-final match between Argentina and Canada, at MetLife Stadium, on July 09, 2024 || Image credit: Imago

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Lionel Messi celebrates his goal 2-0 with Enzo Fernandez of Argentina during the CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 Semi-final match between Argentina and Canada, at MetLife Stadium, on July 09, 2024 || Image credit: Imago

Messi extends record on Ronaldo as Argentina beat Canada to reach final

Faruq Ibrahim 08:34 - 10.07.2024

Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez each scored to help Argentina advance past Canada.

Lionel Messi has finally opened his account at the 2024 Copa America in the USA, scoring in the 2-0 triumph over Canada to book a spot in the final against Uruguay or Colombia. 

The Albiceleste are the defending champions of the Copa America, with their triumph in 2021. They went on to win the World Cup a year later and are set to win a third consecutive international trophy, emulating the Spanish team that dominated international football between 2008 and 2012.

What happened in the match? 

As Scaloni assured, Lionel Messi was named from the start. Julian Alvarez got the nod from the start ahead of Lautaro Martinez, as the world champions squared up against a Canada that had impressed throughout the tournament. 

Canada started remarkably, pressing from the front and creating problems for the Argentine backline in true Jesse Marsch fashion. However, the record Copa America winners soon played their way into the game and started dominating proceedings. 

They got the lead in the 22nd minute when Rodrigo De Paul played an inch-perfect pass through to Alvarez. The Manchester City man wriggled away from his marker, before slotting past Maxime Crepeau. 

Lionel Messi in action for Argentina. (Photo Credit: FIFAWorldcup/X)
Lionel Messi in action for Argentina. (Photo Credit: FIFAWorldcup/X)

The Canadians refused to roll over after conceding and they tested Emiliano Martinez at intervals, but it was Argentina who had the bulk of possession and chances in the game.

Lionel Messi got his first for the tournament and Argentina's second in the game around the 51st minute, when he diverted Enzo Fernandez's shot into the net. There was a brief VAR check to determine the validity of the goal, and it was deemed legal. Argentina held on to the scoreline, which eventually became a result as they advanced to the Copa final. 

Messi moves further clear of Ronaldo 

When Pulse Sports compared the efficacy of Messi and Ronaldo for their respective countries in the knockout stage of internationals, the numbers showed that the Argentine was overwhelmingly superior. 

Of the 24 matches Messi had played at the business of international tournaments, he scored eight goals and provided 15 assists (23 goal contributions) at the time. Ronaldo, on the other hand, only had three goals and two assists (five goal contributions).

Messi has further extended this margin with his goal in the semi-final of a Copa America match. 

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