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Argentina vs Canada: Reigning champs versus the debutants for a spot in Copa America final

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Originally posted on Top-soccer.com

It’s set to be a case of déjà vu when Argentina and Canada renew acquaintances in the 2024 Copa America semi-finals on Tuesday. The two sides faced off during this competition’s opener, which was, as many expected, won 2-0 by Argentina. What many did not expect, however, was for Canada to still be afloat in this contest. The Canucks are making their first-ever appearance in a Copa America, but unlike the USMNT and Mexico, Jesse Marsch’s men managed to get out of the group stage.

Since losing 2-0 to Argentina on matchday one, Canada have really improved, and come into this match having conceded just one goal in their last three Copa America ties. They successfully edged out Peru 1-0 before holding Chile to a scoreless draw to earn their ticket to the knockout rounds. Although they saw their defense finally breached during a one-all draw with Venezuela, the debutants showed great grit and determination to successfully navigate their way through a tense penalty shoot-out to book their ticket to the semi-finals. In achieving this, Canada are now the third Concacaf side to make it to the semi-finals of a Copa America on their debut after Honduras and Mexico.

While both Mexico and the USMNT crashed out in a poor showing, Canada have been flying the flag high for Concacaf. It has been well over 20 years since a Concacaf side got to the finals of a Copa America, with Mexico achieving that back in 2001. Of course, they will be the rank underdogs against an Argentina side who predictably have enjoyed the better head to head record over the years, but having already found a way past a slew of South American sides, including Peru, Chile, and Venezuela, Canada will certainly be hopeful that their Cinderella story just may have another chapter in it yet.

Into the semi-finals of the Copa America for the first time in history, Canada will hope that their Cinderella story will have one more chapter to be added. (Image: Getty)

Meanwhile, Argentina successfully earned a spot at this juncture after surviving a rather nervy penalty shoot-out against Ecuador. La Albiceleste came into this contest as reigning champions and are seeking to successfully defend their Copa America title for the first time since 1993. Although they have not been able to rely on Lionel Messi, the South American powerhouse so far have done just fine without their talisman playing regularly in the starting XI.

Inter striker Lautaro Martinez has scored four of team’s six goals so far, despite not being a regular starter. Messi, for his part, did return to the fold during Argentina’s tie against Ecuador, but failed to convert from 12 yards out during the penalty shoot-out. However, Emiliano Martinez had another titanic performance in between the posts to thwart Argentina’s opponents, while Julian Alvarez, Alexis Mac Allister, Gonzalo Montiel, and Nicolas Otamendi all converted their efforts to secure a 4-2 win for Lionel Scaloni’s side.

Argentina have progressed to the finals in seven of their last eight semi’s appearances, and for all intents and purposes, are expected to make it yet another finals appearance as they aim to win a 16th Copa America. The winners of this tie will face either Colombia or Uruguay in the showpiece final on Sunday. Will Canada, who have already defied the odds to get to this juncture, continue to write their own history and fly the flag high for Concacaf? Or will Argentina, as anticipated, once again overpower their inexperienced opponents to set up a mouthwatering clash against either a free-scoring Colombia or fellow all-time Copa America winners Uruguay in Sunday’s highly anticipated final?

The post Argentina vs Canada: Reigning champs versus the debutants for a spot in Copa America final appeared first on Topsoccer.

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