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Argentina begin Copa America title defense with straightforward win over Canada



Argentina begin Copa America title defense with straightforward win over Canada

Defending champions Argentina began the 2024 Copa América with a 2-0 victory over tournament debutants Canada at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. In the 48th edition of the Copa América, held in the United States, Argentina started strong with Leandro Paredes’ long-range effort narrowly missing the target. Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau was kept busy early on, notably preventing Angel Di Maria from scoring in a one-on-one situation.

Canada, despite a slow start, had their chances. Around the half-hour mark, Tajon Buchanan misdirected a shot wide after a good first touch in the box, and Emiliano Martinez made a crucial save from Stephen Eustaquio, with Alphonso Davies missing the follow-up. Canada ended the first half with confidence, looking capable of causing an upset.

However, Argentina, unbeaten in their last seven Copa América matches, took control early in the second half. Lionel Messi’s pass led to a collision between Alexis Mac Allister and Crepeau, allowing Julian Alvarez to score into an empty net. Alvarez nearly doubled the lead shortly after, but Crepeau made a crucial save. As Argentina pressed on, Crepeau again denied Messi, who later missed a clear chance by lofting the ball over both Crepeau and the goal.

Messi redeemed himself in the 88th minute by assisting Lautaro Martinez, who sealed the victory with a powerful finish. This win means Argentina has lost just two of their last 55 matches. Lionel Scaloni’s side now has five days to rest before facing Chile. For Canada, still seeking their first victory against Argentina, the next match against Peru is crucial for their hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals.

Source: ghmediahub